5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

Healius Ltd (ASX:HLS) and Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX:NCM) shares will be on watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday…

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Young man looking afraid representing ASX shares investor scared of market crash

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On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was on form again and continued its positive run. The benchmark index climbed 0.6% to 6,728.5 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to drop.

The Australian share market looks to have run out of steam and is expected to drop lower on Thursday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is poised to open the day 49 points or 0.7% lower this morning. This follows a disappointing night on Wall Street, which in late trade sees the Dow Jones down 0.6%, the S&P 500 down 1%, and the Nasdaq down a sizeable 2.1%.

Tech shares on watch.

Australian tech shares such as Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and WiseTech Global Ltd (ASX: WTC) could come under pressure on Thursday after their U.S. counterparts sank lower. On Wall Street the Nasdaq is down 2.1% in late trade. As the local tech sector has a tendency to follow its lead, this could mean a tough day lies ahead. Investors appear to be taking profit after the Nasdaq recently hit a record high.

Oil prices mixed.

Energy producers including Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) will be on watch today after another mixed night for oil prices. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down 0.1% to US$45.55 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is flat at US$48.87 a barrel. A surprise inventory build is weighing on prices.

Gold price sinks.

It could be a tough day for gold miners such as Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM) and Saracen Mineral Holdings Limited (ASX: SAR) after the gold price sank lower. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is down 2.2% to US$1,833.0 an ounce. Vaccine optimism has given risk sentiment a boost and is weighing on safe haven assets.

Healius rated as a buy.

The Healius Ltd (ASX: HLS) share price jumped 7% higher yesterday after a trading update but could still go higher. That’s the view of Goldman Sachs, which has slapped a buy rating and $4.40 price target on the healthcare company’s shares. It commented: “HLS is one of the few value-oriented stocks in the ASX healthcare sector, and we believe it should be considered a core holding ahead of CY21. We expect consensus upgrades and multiple re-rating to drive further stock performance through the mid-term.”

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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 AFTERPAY T FPO and WiseTech Global. 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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