5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

It looks set to be a good session for Aussie investors today.

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On Wednesday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was back on form and pushed higher. The benchmark index rose 0.5% to 7,819.6 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to storm higher

The Australian share market looks set for a very positive session on Thursday following a great night on Wall Street. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 41 points or 0.5% higher this morning. In late trade on Wall Street, the Dow Jones is up 0.1%, the S&P 500 has risen 0.45%, and the Nasdaq is 0.6% higher.

Oil prices flat

ASX 200 energy shares such as Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Woodside Energy Group Ltd (ASX: WDS) could have a subdued session after oil prices traded flat overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is steady at US$81.59 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is flat at US$86.24 a barrel. A rise in US crude stockpiles held back oil prices.

Dividend payday

Today is a big day for dividends with billions of dollars being paid out to Aussie investors. Among the many ASX 200 shares paying their latest dividends today are giants BHP Group Ltd (ASX: BHP), Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA), and Telstra Group Ltd (ASX: TLS).

Gold price rises

It could be a good session for ASX 200 gold shares Newmont Corporation (ASX: NEM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) after the gold price rose overnight. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 0.55% to US$2,211.6 an ounce. Traders were optimistically buying gold ahead of the release of US inflation data.

Westpac rated as neutral

The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price is fully valued according to analysts at Goldman Sachs. This morning, the broker has responded to the bank's technology simplification update by retaining its neutral rating with a slightly trimmed price target of $23.41. Goldman said: "WBC's technology simplification plan has been a long time coming, and we believe it does, over time, have the potential to materially improve WBC's relative productivity positioning."

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has positions in Westpac Banking Corporation and Woodside Energy Group. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Goldman Sachs Group. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Telstra Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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