On Tuesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) started the year in very strong form. The benchmark index jumped 1.95% to 7,589.8 points.
Will the market be able to build on this on Wednesday? Here are five things to watch:
ASX 200 expected to fall
The Australian share market looks set to edge lower on Wednesday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 16 points or 0.2% lower this morning. This follows a mixed night on Wall Street, which in late trade sees the Dow Jones up 0.6%, but the S&P 500 down 0.25% and the Nasdaq down a sizeable 1.8%.
Tech shares on watch
Australian tech shares such as Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and Appen Ltd (ASX: APX) could come under pressure today after a very poor night of trade on the tech-focused Nasdaq index. Afterpay could have a particularly bad day after the Square share price sank 7% on Tuesday night. As its shareholders have voted in favour of Square’s takeover proposal, the value of the transaction rises and falls with its shares.
Oil prices rise
Energy shares including Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) could have a good day after oil prices pushed higher overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 1.3% to US$77.03 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is up 1.35% to US$80.03 a barrel. Oil prices rose despite OPEC revealing that it will go ahead with its plan to raise its output target by 400,000 barrels per day next month.
Gold price rise
Gold miners Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Regis Resources Limited (ASX: RRL) could have a decent day after the gold price rose overnight. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 0.8% to US$1,815.10 an ounce. Rising Omicron cases led to some traders seeking safety in the precious metal.
Premier Investments goes ex-dividend
The Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PMV) share price is likely to trade lower this morning. This is because the Peter Alexander and Smiggle operator’s shares are due to trade ex-dividend this morning for its fully franked 46 cents per share final dividend. Eligible shareholders can look forward to being paid this dividend on 27 January.