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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Wednesday

On Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) gave back its morning gains and ended the day slightly lower.. The benchmark index fell 0.15% to 5,313.1 points.

Will the local market be able to bounce back on Wednesday? Here are five things to watch:

ASX 200 expected to rise.

According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 index is expected to push higher this morning. Current futures contracts are pointing to a rise of 16 points or 0.3% at the open. This is despite a weak night of trade on Wall Street. The Dow Jones fell 0.1%, the S&P 500 dropped 0.5%, and the Nasdaq index tumbled 1.4% lower.

Oil prices rebound.

It could be a decent day for energy producers such as Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) after oil prices rebounded. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 2.7% to US$13.12 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is up 3.75% to US$20.74 a barrel. Despite the rebound, traders remain bearish on oil due to weak demand.

Gold price edges lower.

Gold miners including Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) will be on watch today after the gold price edged lower. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is down 0.1% to US$1,722.10 an ounce. The gold price dipped to a one-week low overnight amid upbeat plans in some countries to loosen the restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Coles third quarter update.

The Coles Group Ltd (ASX: COL) share price will be one to watch on Wednesday when it releases its highly anticipated third quarter update. According to a note out of Goldman Sachs, it expects Coles to deliver a 12% increase in comparable store sales in its Food division and a 6% lift in the Liquor division. The key drivers of this are expected to be stockpiling by consumers, more eating at home, and a 1.2% lift in food inflation. Overall sales are expected to be up 12.1% to $9,163 million for the quarter.

Westpac rated as neutral.

Goldman Sachs has reiterated its neutral rating on Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) shares this morning. This follows the banking giant’s announcement that its first half impairment charge will be $2,238 million, which amounts to 62bps of gross loans. Goldman believes Westpac is now relatively well-placed on provisions but notes that its capital remains less certain. It has a $17.63 price target on its shares.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of Westpac Banking. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of COLESGROUP DEF SET. 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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