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

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA): up 0.17%
  • NASDAQ (USA): down 0.26%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 1.68%
  • DAX (Germany): up 1.5%
  • EURO STOXX 50 (Europe): up 1.54%
  • Shanghai Composite (China): up 3.22%

In the US, a short-lived rebound in oil prices saw markets head higher before settling mostly flat. In Europe, shares rebounded from their recent multi-year lows to trade firmly higher. FTSE-listed shares of Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) rose 1.5% and 3%, respectively.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a modest 15 point, or 0.3%, fall in the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares of BHP will be in focus today after the world’s largest mining business released its half-year operational review. After recently announcing a $US7.2 billion ($US4.9 billion after taxes) write-down of the value of its US oil and gas assets, the miner today said it’ll incur additional charges in the range of US$300 million to $US450 million related to redundancies and global royalty taxation matters.

Further, the miner said that charges associated with the tragic dam wall slide at its iron ore operations in Brazil cannot yet be reliably estimated. BHP also downgraded iron ore production guidance.

On a positive note, Sydney Airport Holdings Ltd (ASX: SYD) reported strong monthly passenger numbers for December. Year-to-date passenger traffic in 2015 across both international and domestic is up 3%. “2015 was another record year for Sydney Airport facilitating 39.7 million travellers through our three terminals,” CEO Kerrie Mather said.

Alumina Limited (ASX: AWC) shares will also be in focus today following Alcoa, Inc’s decision to pay a quarterly dividend. Alumina owns 40% of Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals in a joint venture with Alcoa.

SEEK Limited’s (ASX: SEK) New York-listed subsidiary, Zhaopin Ltd, received a partial takeover offer from a Chinese group of CDH V Management Company Limited and Shanghai Goliath Investment Management LP overnight. The buyers intend to purchase all shares in Zhaopin that SEEK does not own — around 63.2% ownership interest and 75.3% voting interest at June 30, 2015. In its market statement, the company said, SEEK expects the Proposed Buying Group will endeavour to negotiate arrangements with SEEK for the future management of Zhaopin.” Zhaopin is China’s version of seek.com.au and continues to grow rapidly.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz owns shares of SEEK. 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.