5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

Here's what to expect on the benchmark index today.

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On Wednesday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) had a tough session and dropped deep into the red. The benchmark index fell 1.3% to 7,569.9 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to fall again

The Australian share market looks set for a subdued session on Thursday following a mixed night on Wall Street. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 10 points or 0.15% lower this morning. In the United States, the Dow Jones was up 0.2%, but the S&P 500 fell 0.35% and the Nasdaq tumbled 0.3%. The US market was up significantly before paring its gains late in the day.

Oil prices sink

ASX 200 energy shares including Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Woodside Energy Group Ltd (ASX: WDS) could have a disappointing session after oil prices sank overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down 3.4% to US$79.14 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is down 3.2% to US$83.55 a barrel. Oil prices hit a seven-week low after a surprisingly large increase in stockpiles.

NAB half-year results

The National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX: NAB) share price will be on watch on Thursday when the banking giant releases its half-year results. According to a note out of Goldman Sachs, the broker expects cash earnings (before one-offs) of $3,513 million. This represents a 13% reduction on the prior corresponding period. The consensus estimate is for cash earnings of $3,553 million. Goldman expects NAB to declare an 81 cents per share fully franked interim dividend. This is down 2.4% on last year's interim dividend. The consensus estimate is for NAB to keep its interim dividend flat year on year at 83 cents per share.

Buy Xero shares

The Xero Ltd (ASX: XRO) share price could be great value according to analysts at Goldman Sachs. This morning, the broker has reiterated its conviction buy rating on the cloud accounting platform provider's shares with an improved price target of $156.00. Goldman has upgraded its revenue forecasts in response to changes to Xero's Australian plans.

Gold price charges higher

It looks set to be a good session for ASX 200 gold shares Newmont Corporation (ASX: NEM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) after the gold price charged higher overnight. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is up 1% to US$2,326.2 an ounce. The precious metal rose after the US Federal Reserve kept rates on hold and suggested that the next move would be a cut.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has positions in Woodside Energy Group and Xero. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended Goldman Sachs Group and Xero. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended Xero. 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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