S&P/ASX 200 set to open lower: 10 shares to watch

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

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA): up 0.05%
  • NASDAQ (USA): down 0.18%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.09%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.24%
  • CAC 40 (France): down 0.11%

In London, shares trended mostly sideways but rose following a robust move in oil prices. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) ended 1.29% and 0.52% higher, respectively.

US markets also opened higher on the back of a rise in oil prices. The energy and consumer staples sectors were the best-performing on Thursday.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a 47-point, or 0.9%, fall in the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares in focus will include Sky Network Television Ltd (ASX: SKT). This morning, Sky Network TV announced total subscriber numbers are forecast to be approximately 830,000 at June 30, 2016. The company said it expects a reduction of 45,000 core pay-tv subscribers and a gain of 25,000 other subscribers. Pleasingly, it reaffirmed its previous FY16 guidance. However, the net loss of subscribers will adversely impact FY17 numbers relative to current analyst forecasts.

Another company that will be in the spotlight today is Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG). This morning, Australia’s largest investment bank released its annual report to the market showing a 9.43% increase in revenue to $10.13 billion and a profit after tax of $2.06 billion, up 28.6% year-over-year.

Fairfax Media Limited (ASX: FXJ), the owner of Domain, said its subsidiary acquired 35% of Oneflare Pty Ltd, an online marketplace connecting local service providers for $15 million.

REA Group Limited (ASX: REA) reported its results for the nine months to 31 March 2016 showing a 20% rise in revenue.

News Corp (ASX: NWS) reported its third-quarter results showing a 5% fall in total revenue and meaningful drop in operating profit.

Seek Limited (ASX: SEK) is again considering a takeover proposal for its China-based Zhaopin Limited from a consortium, which includes current Zhaopin executives. The offer represents just a 12.17% premium to the weighted 30-day price of shares.

Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL) announced the acquisition of Global Therapeutics Pty Ltd for $23 million. In the last 12 months, the company achieved sales of $20 million.

Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) has followed through on its promise to reduce gross debt by $1.5 billion, following the auction of debt overnight.

Finally, in broker news, analysts at Bell Potter raised their Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) price target 5.8% to $11, while Deutsche Bank analysts upped their Computershare Limited (ASX: CPU) price target 5.1% to $8.25, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz owns shares of Computershare and Seek. Owen welcomes -- and encourages -- your feedback on Google+, LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Computershare. 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.

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