The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AJXO) (ASX: XJO) is expected to trade lower following weak leads from international markets overnight.

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA): down 1.47%
  • NASDAQ (USA): down 1.14%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): down 1.04%
  • DAX (Germany): down 0.93%
  • EURO STOXX 50 (Europe): down 1.22%

In the US, tensions from the Middle East took oil prices to their lowest levels since 2004 before stabilising to 2008 levels. Lower oil prices led to a sell-off of major energy shares.

In Europe, resources companies again fell hard as research from Bank of America forecast that major miners like BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) might have to raise billions of dollars in capital (by issuing new shares) to acquire the distressed mining assets of rivals, according to Fairfax.

Iron ore and copper prices finished lower overnight fueling the downward pressure on the FTSE-listed share prices of Rio and BHP which fell 4.8% and 4.9%, respectively.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a slight fall in the S&P/ASX 200 today.

Stocks in focus will include Rio, BHP and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG). So far in 2016 (just three days in) shares of the three miners are 4.7%, 3.8% and 4%, lower, respectively.

Also in focus will be oil producers Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL), Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH). Overnight, the plunge in oil prices saw oil giants Chevron and Total SA fall 4% and 1.65%, respectively.

In company-specific news, Programmed Maintenance Services Limited (ASX: PRG) said it will sell all but one of its marine vessels and other assets to retire $25 million of debt. The company said current trading performance within its Broadsword business “has weakened and this transaction will remove the risk of further volatility in earnings.”

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Owen welcomes your feedback on Google plus (see below), LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.