5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

Here’s what to expect on the ASX 200 on Thursday…

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On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) ran out of steam and dropped into the red. The benchmark index fell 0.3% to 7,565.8 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to edge lower

The Australian share market looks set to edge lower on Thursday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 5 points or 0.1% lower this morning. This follows a poor night on Wall Street, which in late trade sees the Dow Jones down 0.25%, the S&P 500 down 0.85%, and the Nasdaq down a sizeable 2%.

Oil prices rise again

Energy shares including Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) could have a good day after oil prices pushed higher again overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 0.95% to US$77.71 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is up 0.85% to US$80.68 a barrel. This was despite US fuel demand slipping and OPEC lifting its output.

Tech shares on watch

Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT) and TechnologyOne Ltd (ASX: TNE) shares could have another difficult day of trade after US tech shares were sold off again. At the time of writing, the tech-focused Nasdaq index is down 2% in late trade. As the local tech sector tends to follow its lead, this doesn’t bode well for today’s session.

Gold price edges higher

Gold miners Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Regis Resources Limited (ASX: RRL) could have a decent day after the gold price edged higher. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 0.1% to US$1,816.70 an ounce. Rising Omicron variant cases helped boost its safe-haven appeal with investors.

Aristocrat acquisition update

The Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) share price will be on watch on Thursday following an update on its proposed acquisition of Playtech. The gaming technology company advised that the Playtech shareholder vote on the acquisition has been pushed back from 12 January to 2 February. This is to allow time for rival JKO Play to make a firm competing offer. One positive, though, is that proxy advisers continue to recommend Aristocrat’s offer.

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