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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) made it two days in a row of solid gains. The benchmark index climbed 0.6% to 5,934.4 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to push higher.

It looks set to be another positive day of trade for the ASX 200. According to the latest SPI futures, the benchmark index is poised to rise 40 points or 0.7% at the open. This follows a reasonably positive night of trade on Wall Street. Although the Dow Jones fell 0.3%, the S&P 500 rose 0.5% and the Nasdaq jumped 0.95%. The latter index closed at a record high.

Pfizer coronavirus vaccine update.

U.S. markets were given a lift overnight after the release of an update on a study of a coronavirus vaccine candidate. The study of BNT162b1, which is being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, showed that the drug created neutralising antibodies. However, at this stage the results have not been reviewed by a medical journal. If the vaccine is successful and gets regulatory approval, Pfizer expects to manufacture upwards of 100 million doses by the end of the year.

Oil prices rebound.

It could be a good day of trade for energy producers such as Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) after oil prices jumped higher. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 1.2% to US$39.73 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has climbed 1.6% to US$41.92 a barrel. A drawdown in U.S. crude inventories from record highs and some positive manufacturing data supported oil prices.

Gold price tumbles.

Gold miners such as Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) could come under pressure today after a pullback in the gold price. According to CNBC, the spot gold price has dropped 1.1% to US$1,780.40 an ounce after stronger than expected economic data.

Webjet raises funds.

The Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) share price will be on watch today after the release of a late announcement on Wednesday. The online travel booking company revealed that it is launching an offering of A$163 1 million convertible notes. These notes will be due in 2027.  The company’s Managing Director, John Guscic, commented: “This Offering supports our ongoing focus on maintaining a strong balance sheet as we continue to navigate the challenging operating environment caused by COVID-19.”

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