5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Wednesday

Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX:EVN) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX:WBC) shares will be on watch on the ASX 200 on Wednesday…

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On Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) fought hard to carve out a small gain. The benchmark index rose 0.2% to a nine-month high of 6,687.7 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to rise.

The Australian share market looks set to push higher again on Wednesday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is poised to open the day 29 points or 0.4% higher this morning. This follows a positive night of trade on Wall Street, which in late trade sees the Dow Jones up 0.5%, the S&P 500 up 0.35%, and the Nasdaq up 0.5%.

UK COVID-19 vaccine rollout begins.

The UK became the first country to start the official rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday. According to the BBC, a 90-year-old grandmother became the first person in the world to be given the Pfizer vaccine. That was the first of 800,000 doses of the vaccine that will be distributed in the near term, with up to four million more expected by the end of the month.

Oil prices mixed.

Energy producers including Oil Search Ltd (ASX: OSH) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) will be on watch today after a mixed night for oil prices. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down 0.25% to US$45.64 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is flat at US$48.88 a barrel. Rising COVID cases and lockdowns offset the vaccine news.

Gold price rises again.

It could be a good day for gold miners such as Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX: SAR) today after the gold price pushed higher again. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 0.6% to US$1,877.3 an ounce. The precious metal hit a two-week high after traders bet on US fiscal support.

Westpac rated as a buy.

The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is in the buy zone according to analysts at Goldman Sachs. This morning the broker retained its buy rating and $20.34 price target on its shares. Goldman believes mortgage credit growth will rise towards 5% in FY 2021 and the major banks are well-placed to get towards system growth. It is also forecasting a 97 cents per share dividend for Westpac in FY 2021.

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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. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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