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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) fought back from a heavy decline at the open to record a small gain. The benchmark index rose slightly to 6,148.4 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to drop lower.

The ASX 200 looks set to end its winning streak on Thursday. According to the latest SPI futures, the benchmark index is expected to drop 73 points or 1.2% at the open. This follows another mixed night of trade on Wall Street overnight. The Dow Jones dropped 1.05%, the S&P 500 fell 0.5%, and the Nasdaq defied the selling once again with a 0.7% gain.

Tech shares could rise.

Although the market is expected to sink lower today, Australian tech shares such as Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) and Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) could defy this and push higher. The local tech sector has a habit of following the lead of the Nasdaq index, which stormed higher and closed above 10,000 points for the first time.  

Oil prices edge higher.

Energy producers such as Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) could be on the rise today after oil prices edged higher. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 0.3% to US$39.06 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price edged 0.1% to US$41.23 a barrel.

U.S. Federal Reserve meeting.

The U.S. Federal Reserve met overnight and kept rates on hold at zero. The central bank also suggested that interest rates will stay at this level until 2022. However, the U.S. Fed is not done with supporting the economy through the pandemic. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell commented: “What we’re thinking about is providing support for the economy. We think this is going to take some time.”

Gold price jumps.

Gold miners including Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) could be pushing higher today after the gold price jumped. According to CNBC, the spot gold price rose 1.4% to US$1,746.30 an ounce after dovish comments by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

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James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Altium. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Appen Ltd. 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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