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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was out of form and dropped lower. The benchmark index fell 0.85% to 5,206.9 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to storm higher.           

The S&P/ASX 200 index looks set to storm higher on Thursday. According to the latest SPI futures, the benchmark index is expected to jump 47 points or 0.9% at the open. On Wall Street the Dow Jones is up 3.4%, the S&P 500 rose 3.4%, and the Nasdaq climbed 2.6%.

Oil prices surge.

The shares of energy producers including Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) could storm higher today after oil prices rebounded strongly. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price surged 11% higher to US$26.20 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price pushed 5.6% higher to US$33.64 a barrel. Oil prices surged higher towards the end of the session amid hopes that Saudi Arabia and Russia will announce production cuts imminently.

Gold price pulls back.

Gold miners including Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) could come under pressure today after the gold price dropped lower. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is down 0.25% to US$1,679.90 an ounce. Traders were nervous ahead of the upcoming release of the U.S. Federal Reserve minutes.

Bank of Queensland rated neutral.

The Bank of Queensland Limited (ASX: BOQ) share price will be on watch again today after brokers responded to its half year update. The regional bank posted a 10% decline in cash earnings to $151 million, which was well above expectations. This was due almost entirely to much lower-than-expected BDD charges. However, this wasn’t enough for Goldman Sachs to change its rating. It has held firm with its neutral rating and $5.51 price target.

S&P Global Ratings update.

Hot on the heels of a ratings update by Fitch Ratings, S&P Global Ratings has revised Australia’s credit rating outlook to “negative” with a similar impact on the credit rating outlook for the major banks. However, the ratings agency has affirmed the current issuer credit rating of AA- long term, and A-1+ short term, for Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC).

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. 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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