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S&P/ASX 200 open Thursday: 8 shares to watch

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO)(ASX: XJO) is expected to open flat on Thursday, with shares of Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) in focus.

Here’s a quick recap of global markets:

  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.2%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.1%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 0.2%
  • Dow Jones (USA): down 0.1%
  • NASDAQ (USA): flat

In London, shares closed slightly higher despite pharmaceutical stocks weighing on the market. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) closed 0.2% lower.

In the U.S., President Trump revealed his long-awaited tax plans to the market. However, the market’s reaction appeared neutral to his sweeping tax plans.

Closer to home, the local market is expected to open flat. However, there is plenty of company news to digest.

Wesfarmers Ltd released its third quarter trading update this morning, showing a modest 1.2% rise in Coles’ Food and Liquor sales. However, Bunnings Warehouse sales rose 7.7%.

Mirvac Group’s (ASX: MGR) third quarter update revealed that the property group expects to achieve 14.4 cents in operating earnings and 10.4 cents of distributions, at the top end of previous guidance.

Northern Star Resources’ quarterly report showed costs falling, with the company saying it is on track to meet full year production and cost guidance.

Blackmores Limited (ASX: BKL) shares will also be in focus after the company announced a 6.7% fall in sales for the first nine months of its current financial year, with profit down 43%.

Copper and gold miner Sandfire Resources NL (ASX: SFR) maintained its production guidance.

Newcrest Mining Limited’s (ASX: NCM) quarterly report revealed modestly rising costs and a 2.6% fall in quarterly gold production.

Television company Ten Network Holdings Limited (ASX: TEN) releases its half-year results this morning.

Finally, Macquarie analysts cut their Alumina Limited (ASX: AWC) price target 4% to $2.30, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any company mentioned. Owen welcomes and encourages your feedback. You can follow him on Twitter @OwenRask.

The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Wesfarmers Limited. 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.

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