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

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA): down 1.56%
  • NASDAQ (USA): down 0.012%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): down 3.46%
  • DAX (Germany): down 2.82%
  • EURO STOXX 50 (Europe): down 3.28%
  • Shanghai Composite (China): down 1.03%

In the US, shares followed their European counterparts lower as commodity prices hit energy and resource shares yet again. Overnight, oil prices plunged 6.71% to $US26.55 a barrel – the lowest price since May 2003.

In Europe, markets were sold lower on the back of the world’s largest miner, BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP), announcing a lacklustre quarterly report and flagging more impairments.

FTSE-listed shares of BHP and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) fell 7.7% and 4.1%, respectively.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is — perhaps surprisingly — tipping a modest jump in the S&P/ASX 200.

Australia’s big bank shares will again be in focus today, following heavy selloffs in the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) and National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) share prices yesterday.

Obviously, the massive rout in BHP and Rio Tinto shares will mean they’ll be in focus yet again. So too will shares of Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH), Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) and Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL). With oil fetching just $US26 a barrel, I wouldn’t be surprised if the only thing keeping these companies above their breakeven level is the lower Australian dollar.

In company-specific news, Silver Lake Resources Limited. (ASX: SLR), OZ Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL) and Iluka Resources Limited (ASX: ILU) each issued their quarterly production reports this morning.

Hills Ltd (ASX: HIL) said its partnership with Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) will not be impacted by the supermarket operator’s decision to close its Home Improvement business.

Health technology business, Orion Health Group Ltd (ASX: ORE) said it has significantly increased its offering to the United Kingdom’s largest healthcare provider through an expansion agreement with the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board.

The directors of Broadsprectrum Ltd (ASX: BRS), formally Transfield Services, recommended shareholders reject a takeover offer from Ferrovial S.A., telling shareholders that the offer “significantly undervalues your shares.”

In broker news, Insurance Australia Group Ltd (ASX: IAG) shares have been upgraded to ‘buy’ from ‘hold’ by analysts at Bell Potter, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz has a financial interest in Woolworths. 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.