5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

It looks set to be a very busy day for the ASX 200…

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On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) followed Wall Street’s lead and dropped notably lower. The benchmark index fell 0.7% to 7,379.3 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to rebound

The Australian share market looks set to bounce back on Thursday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 18 points or 0.25% higher this morning. This follows a mixed night of trade on Wall Street which saw the Dow Jones fall 0.35%, the S&P 500 trade flat, and the Nasdaq jump 0.7%.

Oil prices rise

Energy producers such as Oil Search Ltd (ASX: OSH) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) could have a positive day after oil prices pushed higher overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 0.8% to US$72.20 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has risen 0.1% to US$74.55 a barrel. Oil prices pushed higher after US inventories declined.

Rio Tinto half year update

The Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) share price will be on watch following the release of its half year results. The mining giant reported a 156% increase in underlying earnings to US$12.2 million. Rio Tinto also revealed a 262% jump in its free cash flow to US$10,181 million, allowing it to declare a massive US$5.61 per share interim dividend. While this fell short of Citi’s estimates, it was ahead of what Goldman Sachs was expecting. Fellow iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) is due to release its Q4 update today.

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 0.35% to US$1,806.3 an ounce. The gold price rose after the US Federal Reserve kept rates on hold at near zero.

NEXTDC expansion

Investors may want to keep an eye on the NEXTDC Ltd (ASX: NXT) share price today. This follows an after-hours announcement which reveals plans to expand further in Sydney. The data centre operator has secured a new data centre site in Western Sydney for $124 million. The company notes that this is a significant long-term expansion opportunity that will provide data centre services to Hyperscale Cloud Providers in a new Availability Zone within the Sydney market not currently serviced by its existing data centres.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro owns shares of NEXTDC Limited. 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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