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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Wednesday

On Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 index ended its losing streak and pushed higher. The benchmark index climbed 0.8% to 6,435.7 points.

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

ASX 200 futures pointing lower.    

The S&P/ASX 200 index looks set to give back yesterday’s gains and more after Wall Street tumbled lower overnight. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is poised to drop 131 points or 2.1% lower at the open. In late trade on Wall Street the Dow Jones is down 2.5%, the S&P 500 index has fallen 2.4%, and the Nasdaq index is down 2.7%.

U.S. Federal Reserve cuts rates.

The U.S. Federal Reserve went one better than the Reserve Bank overnight and made an emergency cut to interest rates of half a percentage point. The central bank made the move in response to the growing economic threat from the coronavirus outbreak. This means the Fed’s benchmark funds rate will now be targeted in a range between 1%-1.25%. This put a lot of pressure on the U.S. dollar and could weigh on companies generating meaningful revenue from the USA.

Oil prices mixed.

Energy producers including Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) will be on watch today after a mixed night of trade for oil prices. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price has risen 0.7% to US$47.08 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has fallen 0.2% to US$51.80 a barrel. Traders appear undecided ahead of OPEC’s meeting.

Gold price jumps.

Gold miners including Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) could be on the rise today after the gold price jumped. According to CNBC, the spot gold price has risen 2.35% to US$1,632.20 an ounce after the surprise emergency cut by the Federal Reserve.

Shares going ex-dividend.

More popular ASX 200 shares are due to trade ex-dividend this morning and could drop lower. These include funerals company InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC), investment company Perpetual Limited (ASX: PPT), wine company Treasury Wine Estates Ltd (ASX: TWE), and retail conglomerate Woolworths Group Ltd (ASX: WOW).

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended Treasury Wine Estates Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended InvoCare Limited. 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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