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

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

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA): down 1.6%
  • NASDAQ (USA): down 0.4%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): down 2.4%
  • DAX (Germany): down 2.9%

In Europe, investors sold down shares following further economic concerns out of Asia and the US. Once again, mining and resources companies fell hard, with FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) falling 3% and 3.4%, respectively. Investors fleeing from riskier assets like shares have pushed bond yields in the US, UK and Germany sharply down so far in 2016.

In the US, industrials and financials led markets lower. Twitter Inc. again fell hard while Bank of America Corp shares lost nearly 7%.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a 36 point, or 0.7%, fall in the S&P/ASX 200 at the open.

Shares of gold miners like Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM), Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) and EVOLUTION FPO (ASX: EVN) will today be in focus after recent uncertainty lifted gold prices. Overnight, the price of gold rallied 4% to $US1,246.22 an ounce.

Another company in focus will be BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL). The steel producer today announced an increase in its half-year underlying profit guidance, increasing its underlying EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) forecast to around $230 million from $180 million. Moreover, the company anticipates it will write-up the carrying value of its North Star BlueScope interest by $700 million, but it will also incur an impairment of around $570 million for other assets.

The recently-listed Baby Bunting Group Ltd (ASX: BBN) reported its half-year results to the market this morning, showing a 30% increase in revenue but a 23% fall in net profit.

Meanwhile, Tabcorp Holdings Limited (ASX: TAH) announced a deal to operate the exclusive NSW Keno business until 2050.

Finally, in broker news, analysts at Bell Potter have cut their price target on Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (ASX: VAH) by 4.1% to $0.47, while Credit Suisse raised their price target on Cochlear Ltd (ASX: COH) 7.2% to $89.

Want our BEST technology stock idea?

Our expert analysts recently hand-picked their top technology stock idea for 2016. And it's easy to see why: It has a big dividend yield, is growing rapidly and has heaps of cash on its balance sheet. Best of all: their top stock pick of 2016 is yours free! Just click here, enter your email address, and we'll send you their research report. No credit card details or payment required.

Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz owns shares of Cochlear. Owen welcomes -- and encourages -- your feedback on Google+, 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.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.