5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday

Oil Search Ltd (ASX:OSH) and Transurban Group (ASX:TCL) shares will be on watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday…
The post 5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia. –

ASX share

On Wednesday the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was back on form and climbed higher. The benchmark index rose 0.65% to 6,643.1 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to rise again.

The Australian share market looks set to end the shortened week on a positive note. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is poised to open the day 53 points or 0.8% higher this morning. This follows a positive night of trade on Wall Street, which in late trade sees the Dow Jones up 0.85%, the S&P 500 up 0.6%, and the Nasdaq trading 0.2% higher.

Christmas Eve trading.

The Australian share market will be closing early on Thursday ahead of the Christmas break. According to the ASX, normal trading will cease at 14:10 Sydney time. After which, the market will be closed for Boxing Day on Monday, before reopening as normal again on Tuesday of next week.

Oil prices jump.

Energy producers including Oil Search Ltd (ASX: OSH) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) could finish the week strongly after oil prices jumped overnight. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is up 2.8% to US$48.32 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has risen 2.7% to US$51.43 a barrel. This was driven by a greater than expected draw on US inventories.

Gold price rises.

It could be a good day for gold miners such as Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: NCM) and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) on Thursday. According to CNBC, the spot gold price has risen 0.45% to US$1,878.40 an ounce. A softening US dollar helped drive the precious metal higher on Wednesday night.

Transurban given neutral rating.

The Transurban Group (ASX: TCL) share price has been given a neutral rating and $13.27 price target by analysts at Goldman Sachs. This follows the release of the toll road operator’s distribution guidance. Goldman was disappointed with its 15 cents per share distribution, which fell short of both the broker’s and the market’s expectations.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Transurban Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

The post 5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Thursday appeared first on The Motley Fool Australia.

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