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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) bounced back from a sharp decline in the morning to record a solid gain. The benchmark index climbed 0.35% to 5,421.9 points.

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

ASX 200 set to tumble.

It looks set to be a poor day of trade for the ASX 200 on Thursday. According to the latest SPI futures, the benchmark index is expected fall 1% or 53 points at the open. Over on Wall Street the Dow Jones fell 2.2%, the S&P 500 dropped 1.75%, and the Nasdaq index fell 1.55%. Investors were selling shares after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell warned that more needs to be done to help the U.S. economy.

Xero full year results.

All eyes will be on the Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) share price today when the cloud-based business and accounting software provider releases its full year results. In the first half of FY 2020 Xero delivered a 32% increase in operating revenue to NZ$338.7 million and surpassed 2 million subscribers. Investors will no doubt be keen to see if the pandemic has impacted its growth.

Oil prices lower.

Energy producers such as Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) could be dropping lower today after oil prices weakened. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down 0.5% to US$25.50 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has fallen 1.8% to US$29.69 a barrel. Oil prices fell despite the U.S. revealing a surprise crude stock drawdown.

Gold price pushes higher.

Australian gold miners including Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) could be pushing higher on Thursday after a strong night for the gold price. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 0.95% to US$1,722.80 an ounce after Jerome Powell signalled more stimulus in the United States.

Qantas on watch on Virgin Australia news.

The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price will be on watch today after the Queensland government threw a lifeline to rival Virgin Australia Holdings Limited (ASX: VAH). On Wednesday afternoon Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick revealed that state-owned Queensland Investment Corporation will make an official bid for a stake in the airline. Mr Dick said: “This is a competitive space, but Queensland is a serious contender and our discussions with the administrators have been making progress.”

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Returns as of 7/4/2020

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Xero. 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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