5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

Afterpay Ltd (ASX:APT) and Santos Ltd (ASX:STO) shares will be on watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday…

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On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) finished well off its low but still recorded a disappointing decline. The benchmark index fell 0.3% to 6,997.5 points.

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

ASX 200 to rebound

The Australian share market looks set to rebound on Thursday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 31 points or 0.45% higher today. This follows a positive night of trade on Wall Street, which saw the Dow Jones jump 0.95%, the S&P 500 rise 0.9% and the Nasdaq storm 1.1% higher.

Oil prices sink

It could be a difficult day for energy producers such as Oil Search Ltd (ASX: OSH) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) after oil prices sank lower. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down 2.6% to US$61.02 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has fallen 2.4% to US$64.99 a barrel. Reports on an inventory build in the US and rising COVID cases in India weighed on prices.

Gold price pushes higher

Gold miners Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) could be on the rise after the gold price pushed higher overnight. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 0.95% to US$1,745.70 an ounce. This was driven partly by softening bond yields.

Tech shares to rise

It could be a positive day of trade for Australian tech shares including Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and Nextdc Ltd (ASX: NXT) on Thursday. This follows a very positive night of trade for the tech-heavy Nasdaq index. With the local tech sector tending to follow the lead of the Nasdaq, its 1.1% overnight gain bodes well for today’s session.

Santos first quarter update

The Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) share price will be one to watch this morning when it hands in its first quarter update. Investors will be interested to see if Santos is performing in line with its guidance for FY 2021. The energy producer is guiding to production of 84-91 mmboe and sales of 98-105 mmboe this year. This is expected to be achieved with upstream production costs of US$8.00-US$8.50/boe.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of NEXTDC Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. 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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