S&P/ASX 200 to open lower: 12 shares to watch

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

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA): down 0.25%
  • NASDAQ (USA): down 1.03%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): down 0.97%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.92%

In London, mining and energy shares failed to buoy markets for a sixth consecutive day. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) fell 0.4% and 3.4%, respectively.

In the US, modest gains in industrials weren’t enough to offset falls in the technology space, bringing an end to a three-day hot streak for the Dow Jones.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a 24-point, or 0.4%, fall in the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares in focus will include Auckland International Airport Ltd (ASX: AIA), which today reported a 25% increase in half-year profit with revenue growth of 11.6%.

Chorus Ltd (ASX: CNU) reported a 9.1% fall in revenue and 48.4% drop in profit for the six-month period ended 31 December 2015. James Hardie Industries plc (ASX: JHX) reported sales growth of 4% and an 18% fall in profit for the nine-month period to 31 December 2015.

Amaysim Australia Ltd (ASX: AYS) delivered a 96% fall in profit despite an 18% increase in revenue for its most recent half-year. Automotive Group Holdings Ltd’s (ASX: AHG) six-month profit increased 7% to $48 million.

DUET Group (AX: DUE) reported a 31% rise in revenue, while Mantra Group Ltd (ASX: MTR) saw a 22% jump in revenue and 11% increase in half-year profit.

Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL) revenue rose 2.5%, but profit surged 58.3% higher for the half-year through December. Fairfax Media Limited (ASX: FXJ) reported a 1.6% rise in revenue and 4.2% jump in profit for its half-year to 31 December 2015.

Finally, Cover-More Group Ltd (ASX: CVO) reported a 7.9% fall in revenue and 31% fall in profit.

In broker news, analysts at Deutsche Bank cut their price target on FlexiGroup Limited (ASX: FXL) shares 7% to $3.30, while Bell Potter analysts cut their Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) share price target 19% to $24.75.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any company mentioned. 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.

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