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

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

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA): up 0.09%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.04%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.57%
  • DAX (Germany): up 1.62%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 0.31%

In Europe, markets moved slightly higher following gains in resources shares. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) traded mostly flat.

US shares also traded flat on Monday. The Energy and Basic Materials sectors were again the laggards in the market.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a 4 point rise in the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares in focus will include Qube Holdings Ltd (ASX: QUB). This morning, shares of the ports business entered a trading halt “as it believes it will shortly have a significant announcement to make in relation to an acquisition and capital raising.”

Qube has been on the front foot looking for takeover targets in recent months. In February, Qube said its board had entered talks with Brookfield Infrastructure Partners to acquire rail and port heavyweight, Asciano Ltd (ASX: AIO). Previously, Qube and Brookfield were on opposing sides of the takeover battle.

In other news, Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) announced the appointment of Joe Bedewi as Chief Financial Officer. The technology company said it is very “fortunate” to have secured the services of Mr Bedewi.

Gold miner, Doray Minerals Limited (ASX: DRM) reported a near tripling of half-year net profit despite revenue growth of just 22% and production increases of 20%. The company said improvements in mining method and dilution control at its Andy Well project resulted in a significant boost to gross profit.

Finally, in broker news, Macquarie analysts cut their price target on Oz Minerals Ltd (ASX: OZL) shares by 6% to $4.50, while the analysts also downgraded BHP Billiton shares from neutral to underperform, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

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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 owns shares of Altium. 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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