On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was on form again and recorded a solid gain. The benchmark index rose 0.4% to 7,095.8 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 push higher again on Thursday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 10 points or 0.15% higher. This follows a mixed night on Wall Street, which has seen the Dow Jones rise 0.3%, the S&P 500 edge 0.1% higher, and the Nasdaq fall 0.4%.
NAB half year update
The National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) share price will be on watch today when it releases its half year results. According to a note out of Goldman Sachs, it expects the banking giant to report cash earnings of $3,031 million. This will be up 77% on the prior corresponding period. On the very bottom line, the broker is forecasting earnings per share growth of 43% to 85.4 cents. This is expected to lead to the NAB board declaring a 55 cents per share fully franked interim dividend.
Oil prices lower
It could be a subdued day of trade for energy producers such as Oil Search Ltd (ASX: OSH) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) after oil prices softened. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down 0.6% to US$65.29 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has fallen 0.3% to US$68.67 a barrel. Oil prices softened despite inventories declining.
Gold price rises
Gold miners Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG) will be on watch after the gold price pushed higher overnight. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 0.55% to US$1,785.90 an ounce. The gold price rose after the US dollar pulled back.
ANZ rated as a buy
The Australia and New Zealand Banking GrpLtd (ASX: ANZ) share price could be good value according to analysts at Goldman Sachs. This morning the broker responded to its half year results by putting a buy rating and $30.20 price target on its shares. Goldman is also forecasting a 5% dividend yield in FY 2021.