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S&P/ASX 200 open Wednesday: 7 shares you need to watch today

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) looks set to rebound today. The futures market is pointing to an 11-point rise at the opening bell.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • FTSE 100 (UK): down 0.15%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.31%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 0.47%
  • Dow Jones (USA): up 0.21%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.08%

The BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) share price will be in focus today following reports in The Australian Financial Review that the miner has engaged Barclays to divest its US Fayetteville shale gas assets. The group’s London-listed shares fell 0.64% overnight, compared to a 0.1% fall for Rio Tinto Limited’s (ASX: RIO) London stock.

G8 Education Ltd (ASX: GEM) is expected to emerge from an extended trading halt today. The group announced yesterday it would raise $100 million via an institutional placement to reduce debt and fund growth opportunities. However, this only came after another binding agreement with an investor to raise $149 million fell through; that investor has now agreed to contribute just $31.8 million, bringing the total to be raised by G8 to $131.8 million.

Insurance business Tower Limited (Australia) (ASX: TWR) reported a loss of $8.2 million for the half-year period, impacted by events such as the Kaikoura earthquake and the Tasman Tempest storms. It did, however, manage to reduce its management expenses by $2.6 million compared to the prior corresponding period.

Automotive Solutions Group Ltd (ASX: 4WD) has responded to a takeover offer by AMA Group Ltd (ASX: AMA), advising shareholders to take no action.

And the banks could be in focus again today. Each of the banks ended yesterday’s session in the red after providing the market with estimates regarding how they expect to be impacted by the Federal Government’s bank levy. The Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price fell a little over 1%.

Before getting started on your day, be sure to check out these two articles:

  1. Here’s How Much the Bank Levy Will Cost Commonwealth Bank of Australia
  2. Revealed: 3 dividend shares with yields over 5%

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