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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Wednesday

On Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 index pushed higher again and recorded a solid 0.3% gain to 6,672.2 points.

Will the local share market be able to build on this on Wednesday? Here are five things to watch:

ASX 200 expected to edge lower.  

The S&P/ASX 200 index looks set to edge lower following a soft night of trade on Wall Street. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is poised to fall 4 points or 0.05% at the open. On Wall Street the Dow Jones fell 0.1%, the S&P 500 dropped 0.3%, and the Nasdaq tumbled 0.7% lower. A series of disappointing earnings releases weighed on sentiment.

Oil prices surge higher.

It could be a positive day of trade for Santos Ltd (ASX: BPT), Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL), and the rest of Australia’s energy producers after oil prices surged higher overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price rose 1.6% to US$54.16 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price pushed 1% higher to US$59.55 a barrel. News that OPEC plans to cut production further sent prices hurtling higher.

Trading halts end.

Both Costa Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: CGC) and WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) shares are scheduled to return from their trading halts today. Costa is due to release a trading update which is likely to be yet another guidance downgrade. Whereas WiseTech Global will provide a response to a second short seller report.

Gold edges higher.

Gold miners including Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) will be on watch after the spot gold price pushed higher. According to CNBC, the spot gold price rose 0.2% to US$1,491.2 an ounce.

Cochlear rated neutral.

The Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH) share price tumbled 5.5% on Tuesday, but not enough for analysts at Goldman Sachs change their neutral rating and $211.00 price target. Goldman notes that Cochlear has reduced its LTIP targets to more “realistic” levels. The new target range is an earnings per share CAGR of 7.5-12.5% from 10-20%. It believes this is a sign that its future growth will be more challenging.

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James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Cochlear Ltd. and WiseTech Global. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended COSTA GRP FPO. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Cochlear Ltd. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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