On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) continued its positive run and stormed higher again. The benchmark index jumped 0.8% to 5,991.8 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 poised to open the day 32 points or 0.55% lower this morning. This follows a disappointing night of trade on Wall Street which saw the Dow Jones fall 0.65%, the S&P 500 drop 0.35%, and the Nasdaq index edge 0.15% higher.
Oil prices tumble.
Energy producers such as Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) could come under pressure on Thursday after a weak night for oil prices. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price fell 1.7% to US$37.74 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price dropped 1% to US$40.58 a barrel. Traders were selling oil amid increasing oversupply fears.
Gold price edges higher.
Gold miners including Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) will be on watch today after the gold price edged ever so slightly higher. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 0.05% to US$1,737.30 an ounce.
Westpac dumps Pendal stake.
The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price could be on the move after it dumped its remaining stake in Pendal Group Ltd (ASX: PDL). Westpac has agreed a fully underwritten offer of ~31 million Pendal shares to institutional investors. This represents approximately 9.5% of Pendal’s shares on issue. The banking giant has agreed to sell the shares for $5.98 per share. This represents a discount of 4% to Pendal’s last close price. It also warned that it may withdraw its funds under management in the future.
Employment data release.
Later today the Australian Bureau of Statistics will release its employment data. The Reserve Bank has previously stated that it believes the unemployment rate could jump as high as 10%. Whereas Westpac is forecasting an unemployment rate of 7.4% It said: “With an upside risk to participation for families getting some relief in childcare, and a downside risk on employment, we see an upside risk to our 7.4% forecast for unemployment.”
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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.