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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Monday

On Friday the S&P/ASX 200 index ended the week on a subdued note. The benchmark index fell 0.25% to 6,816.3 points.

Will the local share market be able to bounce back from this on Monday? Here are five things to watch:

ASX 200 expected to slide. 

It looks set to be a disappointing start to the week for the S&P/ASX 200 index despite U.S. markets charging higher on Friday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is poised to fall 0.4% or 26 points at the open. On Wall Street the Dow Jones rose 0.3%, the S&P 500 climbed 0.5%, and the Nasdaq index pushed 0.5% higher.

Iron ore price sinks.

Mining giants including BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG), and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) could trade lower and weigh heavily on the index on Monday. This follows a reasonably sharp pullback in the benchmark iron ore price on Friday. The base metal fell 2.3% to US$91.63 a tonne.

Oil prices slide.

Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT), Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL), and the rest of Australia’s energy producers could come under pressure today after oil prices tumbled lower. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price fell 1.2% to US$60.44 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price dropped 0.4% to US$66.14 a barrel. A spot of selling by traders ahead of the Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays was pushing prices lower.

Gold price lower.

Gold miners such as Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) will be on watch after the spot gold price edged lower. According to CNBC, the spot gold price fell 0.25% to US$1,480.9 an ounce. Another solid rise for U.S. equities appears to have put pressure on safe haven assets.

Bellamy’s dividend.

Although the Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX: BAL) share price has now been delisted, its former shareholders will be receiving an early Christmas present today. The infant formula company is paying a 60 cents per share fully franked dividend. This represents a 4.5% dividend yield based on its last close price.

Nextdc Ltd (ASX: NXT) 

Although Australia’s tech sector is the smallest of 11 sector groupings by market capitalisation, there’s no better time to take advantage of opportunities for home grown tech stocks.

Here are two tech stocks that are financially healthy, have been performing well, and have strong outlooks moving forward.  

Nextdc is a data centre provider offering a range of services to corporate, government and IT services companies. At the end of FY17 Nextdc posted a $23 million net profit, an increase of $21.2 million on last year. Nextdc’s outlook for FY18 is 14%-25% in EBITDA growth. 

The company is also the first in Australia to receive the TCCF certification, meaning its B2 facility has the ability to withstand individual equipment failures or distribution path interruptions and maintain IT operations. Growth in demand looks promising, with shortages in Sydney’s quality data centre offerings and increased offshore demand, making this one of the best tech shares to invest in on the ASX.  

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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