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 1.1%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 1.6%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 1.9%
  • DAX (Germany): up 2.7%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 3.3%
  • Iron ore up 1.3% to US$60.48 a tonne
  • Brent Crude oil down 1.3% at US$44.09 a barrel
  • Gold down 1% to US$1,242.24 an ounce
  • Australian dollar buying US 76.6 cents (up 1.5 US cents in past week)

In London, the FTSE 100 index reached its highest level for 2016 after positive data on Chinese exports sent commodity shares higher. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) ended 5.5% and 7.5% higher respectively.

US markets were also helped by China’s news, and together with positive quarterly results from major corporates, ended firmly higher. The materials and financials sectors were the best-performing.

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 Sandfire Resources NL (ASX: SFR). This morning, the gold and copper producer delivered its quarterly results to the market revealing solid mine production levels. The company set its 2016 financial year copper production guidance between 65,000 and 68,000 tonnes and gold production guidance between 35,000 and 40,000 ounces.

Meanwhile, gold miner Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) released its quarterly results, showing a 5% fall in all-in sustaining costs, a modest increase in gold sold and a growing cash pile.

ASX Ltd (ASX: ASX) updated the market on its profit performance for the nine months to 31 March 2016 revealing a 7% rise in revenue and 6.2% increase in profit.

Downer EDI Limited (ASX: DOW) released a statement to the market detailing the completion of a partial extension of the group’s $400 million syndicated debt facility.

Finally, in broker news, Credit Suisse analysts upped their price target on Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) shares to $13.15 from $13 while Deutsche Bank lifted their BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL) price target from $5.66 to $5.98, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

I can't believe this

The Motley Fool's expert analysts recently hand-picked their top technology stock idea for 2016. And it's easy to see why: It has a big dividend yield, is growing rapidly and has heaps of cash on its balance sheet. Best of all: their top stock pick of 2016 is yours free! Just click here, enter your email address, and we'll send you their research report. No credit card details or payment required.

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.

Two New Stock Picks Every Month!

Not to alarm you, but you’re about to miss a very important event! Chief Investment Advisor Scott Phillips and his team at Motley Fool Share Advisor are about to reveal their latest official stock recommendation. The premium “buy alert” will be unveiled to members and you can be among the first to act on the tip.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by – this is your chance to get in early!

Simply enter your email now to find out how you can get instant access.

By clicking this button, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. We will use your email address only to keep you informed about updates to our website and about other products and services we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe from Take Stock at anytime. Please refer to our Financial Services Guide (FSG) for more information.