5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

Another busy day is expected for the ASX 200 on Thursday…

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On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was on form and stormed notably higher. The benchmark index rose 0.8% to 7,308.7 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to rise again

The Australian share market looks set to continue its ascent on Thursday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 70 points or 1% higher this morning. This follows a strong night of trade on Wall Street, which saw the Dow Jones rise 0.8%, the S&P 500 climb 0.8%, and the Nasdaq jump 0.9%.

Oil prices jump

Energy producers such as Oil Search Ltd (ASX: OSH) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) could be charging higher today after oil prices jumped overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 4.5% to US$70.24 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has risen 4.1% to US$72.20 a barrel. An improvement in risk appetite provided support for oil prices despite US data showing an unexpected rise in oil inventories.

Newcrest update

The Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM) share price will be one to watch on Thursday. This morning the gold mining giant is scheduled to release its fourth quarter and full year update. Newcrest is aiming to achieve production of 1,950koz to 2,150koz for the full year. All eyes will be on its all-in sustaining cost (AISC), which stood at of $891 per ounce in the third quarter.

Gold price falls

It could be a tough day for gold miners Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Regis Resources Limited (ASX: RRL) after the gold price tumbled overnight. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is down 0.4% to US$1,804 an ounce. The precious metal dropped to a one-week low after risk appetite increased and safe haven assets fell out of favour.

South32 rated as a buy

The South32 Ltd (ASX: S32) share price remains great value according to analysts at Goldman Sachs. Despite a mixed end to the financial year, the broker has retained its conviction buy rating but lowered its price target slightly to $3.70. It has retained its buy rating on valuation grounds, its strong free cash flow outlook, and the prospect of increased capital returns.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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