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S&P/ASX 200 to open higher: 6 shares to watch

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

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA): up 2.11%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 2.89%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.92%
  • DAX (Germany): up 2.34%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 1.22%

In Europe, markets closed firmly higher after reacting to China’s stimulatory moves on Monday. FTSE-listed resources shares led markets to a two-month high, according to The Telegraph. London-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) closed 2.3% and 2.4% higher, respectively.

In the US, technology and industrial shares led markets higher. Shares of Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc rose 4% and 3.5%, respectively, while shares of Amazon.Com rose 4.8%.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a 92 point, or 1.88%, rise in the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares in focus will include Yancoal Australia Ltd (ASX: YAL). The small-cap coal miner today announced its Donaldson operation in the Hunter Valley will move to care and maintenance this year. A total of 92 jobs are expected to be cut.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) announced its decision to simplify its wealth management division. As a result, ANZ Group Executive of Wealth, Marketing and Innovation, Joyce Phillips, will leave ANZ to “pursue her successful financial services career” the bank said.

Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC) said its Chinese joint venture, Ramsay Sime Darby Health Care Sdn Bhd, will not go ahead “due to a number of threshold conditions precedent not being satisfied”.

The private health insurance sector will also be in focus. NIB Holdings Limited (ASX: NHF) this morning said it will increase its insurance premiums by an average of 5.55% – the lowest change in four years. In 2015, NIB’s claims expenses rose 7.2%. 

Meanwhile, Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL), Australia’s largest private health insurer, said it has received approval from the Federal Minister to increase premiums by an average of 5.64%.

Finally, Moody’s has downgraded its Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) credit rating to Baa2 (outlook negative).

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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 on Google+, LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Alphabet (A shares),, and Apple. 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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