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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) had a volatile day with plenty of ups and downs. The benchmark index ultimately ended the day 1.7 points higher at 6,590.2 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to rise.

The Australian share market looks set to rise on Thursday despite a weak night of trade on Wall Street. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 15 points or 0.25% higher this morning. In late trade in the United States, the Dow Jones is down 0.15%, the S&P 500 is down 0.1%, and the Nasdaq has fallen 0.35%.

UK approves Pfizer COVID vaccine.

Overnight the UK became the first country to authorise the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. According to CNBC, the vaccine will now be rolled out in the country as early as next week. The UK is planning to start with elderly people in care homes and medical workers. Emergency use approval in the United States is under review by the Food and Drug Administration. A decision on that is expected next week.

Gold price rises again.

Gold miners including Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM) could push higher today after another rise in the gold price. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 0.7% to US$1,831.60 an ounce. This was driven by hopes that a US COVID stimulus package will soon be approved.

Oil prices stormed higher.

Energy producers Oil Search Ltd (ASX: OSH) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) could have a solid day after oil prices rebounded. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 1.7% to US$45.32 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has climbed 1.9% to US$48.30 a barrel. Optimism that OPEC will make a deal on production cuts has lifted oil prices.

Worley rated as a buy.

According to a note out of Goldman Sachs, the Worley Ltd (ASX: WOR) share price could be going a lot higher from here. This morning the broker reiterated its conviction buy rating and $15.70 price target on the company’s shares. It believes the company is well positioned to capitalise on the energy transition. Goldman’s price target implies potential upside of almost 26% over the next 12 months excluding dividends.

Where to invest $1,000 right now

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Scott just revealed what he believes are the five best ASX stocks for investors to buy right now. These stocks are trading at dirt-cheap prices and Scott thinks they are great buys right now.

*Returns as of February 15th 2021

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.

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