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

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA): down 0.64%
  • NASDAQ (USA): down 1.26%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): down 0.92%
  • DAX (Germany): down 0.88%
  • CAC 40 (France): down 0.86%

In Europe, mining shares were crunched after China released data showing a 24.5% fall in exports during February, in US dollar terms and a 13.8% decline in imports  – both worse-than-expected results. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) fell 6.15% and 6.75%, respectively.

US markets also reacted negatively to the drop in China’s trade levels. Gold prices, often perceived as a hedge against uncertainty, rose to a yearly high of $US1,269.84 an ounce, according to the International Business Times. Shares in the energy and basic materials sectors fell 4% and 3.9%, respectively.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a 25-point, or 0.5%, fall in the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares of copper producers like Rio Tinto, Oz Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL) and Sandfire Resources Ltd (ASX: SFR) will be in focus following a price fall in the commodity overnight.

In company news, Gateway Lifestyle Group (ASX: GTY) announced the acquisition of six Manufactured Home Estates (MHEs) for a combined consideration of $49.3 million, excluding transactions costs.

It said it is also conducting due diligence on a further two MHEs (worth $9.5 million) and a further MHE asset for a purchase price of circa $23 million, excluding transaction costs. The company said it will undertake a $120 million capital raising to fund the acquisitions and repay debt.

Senex Energy Ltd (ASX: SXY) has locked in a $US45 per barrel hedge for 400,000 barrels of oil via a series of put options for the first half of its 2017 financial year.

Onthehouse Holdings Ltd (ASX: OTH) advises that the “Independent Board Committee” has received a revised, non-binding, conditional proposal to acquire 100% of its shares through a consortium of its two directors and a wholly-owned entity of Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG). The deal contemplates an all-cash consideration of $0.85 per share. The deal is subject to a number of conditions. The independent board is evaluating the proposal.

Finally, in broker news, Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) has been cut to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’ by analysts at UBS and Bell Potter analysts downgraded Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) to a ‘hold’ from ‘buy’, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Credit Suisse analysts also moved Fortescue shares to a ‘hold’ from a ‘buy’.

I can't believe it!

Our expert analysts recently hand-picked their top technology stock idea for 2016. And it's easy to see why: It has a big dividend yield, is growing rapidly and has heaps of cash on its balance sheet. Best of all: their top stock pick of 2016 is yours free! Just click here, enter your email address, and we'll send you their research report. No credit card details or payment required.

OUR #1 DIVIDEND PICK FOR 2016...

Forget BHP and Woolworths. This "dirt cheap" company is growing like gangbusters, and trading on a 5.6% dividend yield, FULLY FRANKED (8% gross). With interest rates set to stay at these low levels for years to come, for hungry investors, including SMSFs, this ASX company could be the "holy grail" of dividend plays for 2016.

Enter your email below to discover the name, code and a full investment analysis in our brand-new FREE report, “The Motley Fool’s Top Dividend Stock for 2016.”

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our https://www.fool.com.au/financial-services-guide">Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.

Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any company mentioned. Owen welcomes -- and encourages -- your feedback on Google+, 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.