S&P/ASX 200 set 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.

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA): up 0.94%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.80%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.68%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.81%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 0.77%

In London, commodity shares helped the FTSE 100 higher. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) rose 3.15% and 2.62%, respectively.

On US markets, energy shares lead Wall Street higher with the increasing prospect of an agreement to curb production from major producing nations, Saudi Arabia and Russia. The second day of earnings season also kept investors happy. The energy sector ended up 3.06%.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a 42-point, or 0.8%, rise in the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares in focus will include Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL). Speaking at a conference in Perth yesterday, Woodside’s CEO, Peter Coleman, said the oil and gas giant was focused on developing technologies to make its production cheaper. “The world will not wait for us to make gas affordable, it will move on to new energies,” Mr Coleman was reported by the Wall Street Journal as saying.

Cromwell Group (ASX: CMW) and Investa Office Fund (ASX: IOF) shares will also be in focus on the market today. Yesterday evening, after the market’s close, Cromwell announced it acquired a 9.83% interest in Investa Office Fund. Investors will now be questioning whether Cromwell’s stake could excite a bidding war with DEXUS Property Group (ASX: DXS). The firm which has already announced a takeover offer of Investa, or if it simply wants some of the assets of the target.

Infratil Ltd. (ASX: IFT), the New Zealand infrastructure business, narrowed its 2017 earnings guidance from between NZ$485 million and NZ$525 million to between $NZ495 million and $NZ505 million.

Finally, in broker news, analysts at Macquarie lifted their Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) price target from $3.10 to $3.40, 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.

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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