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S&P/ASX 200 to open higher: 7 shares to watches 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 0.90%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.23%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.42%
  • DAX (Germany): down 0.91%
  • CAC 40 (France): down 0.45%

In Europe, major markets reacted to the US Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates on hold earlier in the week. A Bank of England decision to keep its rates on hold also bolstered markets. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) ended 7.7% and 3.7% higher, respectively.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average extended yesterday’s gains to end above its opening level on the first day of 2016, paring back losses from a volatile start to the year. The materials and industrials were the best-performing sectors.

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

Shares in focus on the market today will include the resources sector heavyweights BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) following a rally in prices overnight.

Also in focus will be shares of Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PMV). This morning, the owner of popular retail brands like Smiggle, Just Jeans, Peter Alexander and more, reported a 14.5% rise in revenue and 26% increase in profit for the half-year period ended 30 January 2016.

Sirtex Medical Limited (ASX: SRX) announced the departure of Mike Mangano, the company’s President of the Americas region. Mr Mangano will leave Sirtex to explore new career challenges.

Melbourne IT Limited (ASX: MLB) said it successfully completed a $15 million capital raising to professional and sophisticated investors. The capital raising follows Melbourne IT’s decision to acquire InfoReady for $15.4 million and the disposal of its international domain business for between $8.1 million and $8.5 million.

Sydney Airport Holdings Ltd (ASX: SYD) reported traffic numbers for the month of February revealing an 8.5% increase in domestic and 12.7% increase in international travellers, compared to the prior corresponding period.

Finally, Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (ASX: NEC) announced a 9.99% acquisition of shares in Southern Cross Media Group Limited (ASX: SXL) from Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG).

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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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