On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was on form and pushed higher. The benchmark index rose 0.3% to 7,354.7 points.
Will the market be able to build on this on Thursday? Here are five things to watch:
ASX 200 expected to edge lower
The Australian share market looks set to give back some of its gains on Thursday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 11 points or 0.15% lower this morning. This follows a mixed night of trade on Wall Street, which saw the Dow Jones rise 0.1%, the S&P 500 climb 0.1%, but the Nasdaq fall 0.2%.
Oil prices sink
Energy producers such as Oil Search Ltd (ASX: OSH) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) could be in the red today after oil prices sank overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down 3.4% to US$72.72 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has fallen 2.7% to US$74.44 a barrel. Oil prices tumbled after Saudi Arabia and UAE reached an agreement that will see global oil supplies boosted.
Afterpay and Zip on watch
All eyes will be on Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P) shares today after they recorded severe declines on Wednesday. Investors were selling the buy now pay later (BNPL) providers amid reports that Apple is going to enter the market with Apple Pay Later. Overnight, US-listed BNPL provider Affirm continued to sink on the news.
Gold price rises
It could be a good day for gold miners Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Regis Resources Limited (ASX: RRL) after the gold price rose overnight. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 1% to US$1,828.50 an ounce. The precious metal pushed higher after the US Federal Reserve reassured investors that it would continue with its accommodative monetary policy despite a strong inflation reading.
The ARB Corporation Limited (ASX: ARB) share price will be one to watch on Thursday following the release of a market update by the 4×4 parts manufacturer. ARB reported a 33.9% increase in unaudited sales revenue to $623 million for FY 2021. On the bottom line, it expects its full year profit before tax to be within the range of $145 million to $150 million. This will be an increase of 85.5% to 92% on FY 2020’s $78.1 million.