5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX:NCM) and Xero Limited (ASX:XRO) shares will be on the watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday…

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On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was on form and ended the month on a very positive note. The benchmark index rose 0.8% to 6,790.7 points.

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

ASX 200 futures pointing higher

The Australian share market looks set to start the month in a positive fashion following a solid night of trade on Wall Street. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is poised to open the day 30 points or 0.45% higher. In late trade on Wall Street, the Dow Jones is up 0.1%, the S&P 500 has risen 0.8%, and the Nasdaq has jumped 2%.

Tech shares on watch

It could be a good day for ASX tech shares such as Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) and Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) on Thursday after US tech stocks surged higher during overnight trade. At the time of writing, the tech-focused Nasdaq index is up a sizeable 2%. Strong gains by a number of tech giants have helped drive the index higher.

Oil prices weaken

Energy producers Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) could trade lower today after oil prices weakened. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down 2.3% to US$59.16 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has fallen 0.9% to US$63.57 a barrel. This follows news that OPEC has lowered its 2021 demand growth forecast due to a slower than expected recovery.

Gold price rebounds

Gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM) and Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG) could be on the rise today after the gold price rebounded. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 1.4% to US$1,709.30 an ounce. This was driven by a softening US dollar. Despite this solid gain, the precious metal is on course to have its worst quarter in over four years.

Suncorp rated as a buy

The Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN) share price could be in the buy zone according to analysts at Goldman Sachs. This morning the broker retained its buy rating but trimmed its price target slightly to $12.05. Goldman has reduced its earnings estimates by 5% in FY 2021 to reflect flood claims. However, it still sees enough value in its shares at this level to retain its buy rating.

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