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5 things to watch on the ASX 200 on Wednesday

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On Tuesday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) was on form again and stormed higher. The benchmark index jumped 0.8% to 7,341.1 points.

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

ASX 200 expected to rise again

It looks set to be another strong day for the Australian share market on Wednesday. According to the latest SPI futures, the ASX 200 is expected to open the day 25 points or 0.35% higher this morning. In late trade on Wall Street, the Dow Jones is up 0.7%, the S&P 500 is up 1.1%, and the Nasdaq is up a sizeable 2%. The latter bodes well for Aussie tech shares.

Oil prices ease

Energy producers such as Beach Energy Ltd (ASX: BPT) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) could have a subdued day after oil prices eased. According to Bloomberg, the WTI crude oil price is down 0.7 % to US$111.30 a barrel and the Brent crude oil price has fallen 0.3% to US$115.33 a barrel. Traders appear to have been taking a bit of profit off the table following a recent surge.

Nickel Mines shares rated as a buy

The Nickel Mines Ltd (ASX: NIC) share price could be in the buy zone according to analysts at Bell Potter. This morning the broker retained its buy rating and lifted its price target on the nickel producer’s shares to $1.88. This follows news that PT Oracle Nickel Industry (ONI), the operating entity housing the Oracle Nickel RKEF project, has been granted material corporate tax relief. It notes that this removes an expense of ~US$50 million per annum from its estimates for ten years.

Gold price falls

Gold miners Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX: EVN) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) could have a poor day after the gold price weakened. According to CNBC, the spot gold price is down 0.4% to US$1,922 an ounce. This was driven by the US Federal Reserve’s hawkish comments about rate hikes.

Dividends being paid

A number of ASX 200 shares will be paying shareholders their latest dividends today. Among the companies paying dividends are stock exchange operator ASX Ltd (ASX: ASX), healthcare company Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL), and energy giant Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL). Elsewhere, the Seek Limited (ASX: SEK) share price could fall today when it trades ex-dividend.

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