Morning market movers: 9 shares to watch

The local sharemarket is expected to open flat following mixed results from global markets overnight.

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA) – up 0.60%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.38%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): down 1.32%
  • DAX (Germany) – down 1.94%
  • EURO STOXX 50 (Europe) – down 2%

In the US shares moved marginally higher despite an impending Federal Reserve interest rate decision on Thursday morning (Australian eastern time). Oil prices rebounded modestly to trade at $US37.92 a barrel.

In Europe, it was a different story. Depressed commodity prices continued to weigh on the share prices of resources businesses. FTSE-listed shares of Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) closed 2% and 3.6% lower, respectively, despite a modest jump in iron ore prices overnight, to $US39.06 a tonne, according to Fairfax Press.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is forecasting a one-point rise in the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO).

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is expected to release its quarterly residential property prices; the government will release its mid-year economic update and the RBA will release minutes from its December board meeting.

In company-specific news, speculation is swirling that a private equity firm could be running the ruler over shares of veterinary and pet retailer, Greencross Limited (ASX: GXL), according to the Fairfax Press. Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) upgraded its first-half underlying profit before tax guidance to between $875 million and $925 million thanks to lower fuel prices, revenue growth and benefits from its operational transformation. Technology solutions business, GBST Holdings Limited (ASX: GBT) announced Allan Brackin as the successor of chairman John Puttick and Robert De Dominicis as Managing Director and CEO.

In broker news, Macquarie analysts lowered their Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) price target 10% to $13.70, the Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) price target 17% to $2.40, and the WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED (ASX: WHC) price target 77% to $0.30 according to Dow Jones Newswires. Credit Suisse cut Suncorp Group Ltd’s (ASX: SUN) price target 10% to $12.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Owen welcomes your feedback on Google plus (see below), LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

Unless otherwise noted, the author does not have a position in any stocks mentioned by the author in the comments below. 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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