S&P/ASX 200 set to open lower: 9 shares to watch

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

Here’s a recap:

  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.1%
  • DAX (Germany): down 0.7%
  • CAC 40 (France): down 0.5%
  • Dow Jones (USA): down 1.2%
  • NASDAQ (USA): down 1%

In London, oil prices and other commodity-related shares lifted the market. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) ended 2.44% and 1.74% higher, respectively.

US markets ended sharply lower following weak earnings reports and pain in the retail sector. Only the resources and utilities sectors finished higher.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a 33-point, or 0.6%, fall in the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares in focus will include XERO FPO NZX (ASX: XRO). This morning, the cloud accounting software provider reported a 67% jump in operating revenue to NZ$207 million and a net loss of NZ$82.4 million. Total subscribers hit 717,000 with 242,000 added in the year to March. Gross margin was 76%, up 6 points.

AMP Limited (ASX: AMP) reported a fall in net cashflows for its most recent quarter and a slight drop in assets under management. It also provided an update on its Australian wealth protection business saying it was impacted by experience losses of $18 million.

Nuplex Industries Ltd (ASX: NPX) updated the market on its Scheme of Arrangement after Allnex Belgium said it believes all regulatory clearances in relation to its takeover of Nuplex will be completed in the next six weeks. Nuplex also said it expects to report operating profit between NZ$157 million to NZ$161 million in FY16.

Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) said it expected to report operating profit for its first half of FY16 well ahead of market expectations.

Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR) upped its third quarter sales 3.4% on a comparable store basis.

Finally, in broker news, analysts at Goldman Sachs raised their Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) price target 8% to $32.05, while Credit Suisse analysts have reportedly removed Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) from ‘Australia Top Stock Picks’, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

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

The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Xero. 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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