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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 index fought back from a heavy decline to finish the day just a touch lower. The benchmark index fell 0.1% to 6,817.6 points.

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

ASX 200 expected storm higher.   

The S&P/ASX 200 index looks set to return to form on Thursday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is poised to storm a sizeable 63 points or 0.9% higher at the open. This follows a positive night of trade on Wall Street which in late trade sees the Dow Jones up 0.7%, the S&P 500 up 0.65%, and the Nasdaq index up 0.8%.

US-Iran tensions ease.

U.S. markets pushed higher overnight after President Trump said that Iran “appears to be standing down” following attacks on American targets in Iran. According to CNBC, the U.S. is continuing to look at its options and will “immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime.”

Oil prices tumble.

It looks set to be a difficult day of trade for energy shares such as Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) after easing tensions in the Middle East sent oil prices tumbling lower. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price fell 5.1% to US$59.53 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price dropped 4.4% to US$65.30 a barrel. This could be good news for fuel guzzlers like Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN).

Gold price sinks.

Gold miners including Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) could come under pressure today after the gold price dropped lower. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is down 1.15% to US$1,556.20 an ounce. This follows an easing of tensions in the Middle East overnight.

Platinum update.

The Platinum Asset Management Ltd (ASX: PTM) share price will be on watch on Thursday following its latest funds under management update. That update revealed that the asset manager has experienced further net outflows. In December Platinum reported net outflows of approximately $104 million. This includes net outflows from the Platinum Trust Funds of approximately $49 million.

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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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