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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 index continued its strong run and pushed higher again. The benchmark index ended the day a sizeable 0.5% higher at 6,994.8 points.

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

ASX 200 expected break through the 7,000 points mark.          

The S&P/ASX 200 index looks set to push higher and break through the 7,000 points mark on Thursday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to rise 18 points or 0.25% at the open. This follows a reasonably positive night of trade on Wall Street which has seen the Dow Jones rise 0.3%, the S&P 500 climb 0.15%, and the Nasdaq index trade flat.

Oil prices slide.

Energy shares including Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) could come under pressure today after oil prices weakened. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price fell 0.3% to US$58.04 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has fallen 0.3% to US$64.28 a barrel. This was driven by an increase in US gasoline stock levels.

Gold price jumps.

Gold miners Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX NST) and Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG) could be on the rise on Thursday after the US-China trade deal failed to ease uncertainty. According to CNBC, the spot gold price rose 0.75% to US$1,556.30 an ounce.

Quarterly reports.

A number of large resources companies are scheduled to release their December quarter updates this morning. All eyes will be on mining giant South32 Ltd (ASX: S32), energy producer Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL), and coal miner Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC).

Pendal Group upgraded to buy rating.

The Pendal Group Ltd (ASX: PDL) share price could be on the rise this morning after Goldman Sachs upgraded the fund manager’s shares to a buy rating with a $9.43 price target. The broker appears to have been pleased with its latest quarterly update and the slowdown in fund outflows. It appears confident that its performance will continue to improve in the coming quarters.

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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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