Local shares are likely to rise this morning as the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) pushes towards the 5,500-point mark once again. ASX futures are pointing to a 12-point rise in the index.

Here’s a quick recap of international stock markets:

  • Europe
    • FTSE 100 (UK): down 0.5%
    • DAX (Germany): down 0.2%
    • CAC 40 (France): down 0.2%
  • US
    • Dow Jones: down 0.1%
    • S&P 500: up 0.05%
    • NASDAQ: down 0.2%

Gold fell again, losing 1.2% to US$1,252 an ounce overnight, which is likely to see Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM), Evolution FPO (ASX: EVN), Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) and OceanaGold Corporation (ASX: OGC) take yet another hit.

Energy plays like Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL), Santos Ltd (ASX: STO), BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Origin Energy Ltd  (ASX: ORG) could see a boost, after the Brent oil price rose 1.3% to US$52.55 a barrel.

There are reports that billionaire Kerry Stokes’s Seven Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: SVW) has taken a small stake (below 5%) in embattled aged care operator Estia Health Ltd (ASX: EHE). Estia’s share price has more than halved so far this year over concerns about the impact of government funding cutbacks on its future revenues and earnings.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

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.