S&P/ASX 200 to open higher: 10 shares to watch

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

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA): up 0.37%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.20%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 1.13%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.74%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 0.92%

In Europe, mining and resources shares were helped by gains in major commodity prices. Markets ended firmly higher. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) ended 6.5% and 5.7% higher, respectively.

In the US, markets closed higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing above 17,000 points after being buoyed by February jobs data, which showed stronger-than-expected employment levels despite weakness in global markets. Commodity prices also buoyed markets.

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

Shares in focus will include major miners like BHP and Rio, but also Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX: FMG). According to the Fairfax Press, iron ore prices last closed up 5% at $US53.75 per tonne.

Shares of oil and gas producers will also be in focus following a price rise of 4.5%, taking brent crude to $US38.72 a barrel in London at the weekend. In recent months, shares of oil producers like Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH), Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) have slumped as market prices plummeted.

Copper prices also rose firmly higher in London, initially seeing shares of global giants like Glencore Plc rise an enormous 12%. With copper prices now at a four-month high, local producers like Oz Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL) and Sandfire Resources NL (ASX: SFR) will be in focus.

Finally, in broker news, analysts at UBS have raised their price target on shares of Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) 9.4% to $6.40 and increased their Alumina Limited (ASX: AWC) price target 15% to $1.50 a share.

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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.

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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