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 subdued session and edged lower. The benchmark index fell 0.1% to 7,769.7 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 to fall again on Thursday despite a positive night on Wall Street. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 21 points or 0.3% lower this morning. In the United States, the Dow Jones was up 0.15%, the S&P 500 rose 0.25% and the Nasdaq edged higher. The S&P 500 closed at a new record high overnight.

Oil prices soften

ASX 200 energy shares including Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Woodside Energy Group Ltd (ASX: WDS) could have a subdued session after oil prices softened overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down 0.1% to US$81.47 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price is down 0.1% to US$85.27 a barrel. Traders may have been taking profit after oil prices hit a seven-week high.

Buy QBE shares

QBE Insurance Group Ltd (ASX: QBE) shares are good value according to analysts at Goldman Sachs. In response to its half-year trading update and North American strategic review, the broker has reiterated its buy rating with a trimmed price target of $20.60. The broker commented: "North America de-risking positive but New Caledonia eliminates CAT buffer."

Gold price falls

It could be a soft session for ASX 200 gold miners such as Newmont Corporation (ASX: NEM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) today after the gold price edged lower overnight. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is down 0.2% to US$2,342.7 an ounce. This appears to have also been driven by profit taking.

Helia rated neutral

The Helia Group Ltd (ASX: HLI) share price crashed 20% yesterday amid news that Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) intends to issue a request for proposal relating to its external Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) requirements for the whole CBA group. This sparked fears that Helia could lose a contract that represented approximately 53% of its gross written premium in FY 2023. Goldman Sachs has responded by holding firm with its neutral rating and $4.53 price target. It said: "Importantly, our discussion with the company today has left us confident that, to the extent it was to lose the CBA contract, it should be able to distribute the resulting capital release."

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has positions in 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 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 Scott Phillips.

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