S&P/ASX 200 set to open higher: 5 shares 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 0.6%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.44%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.15%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.68%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 0.26%

In London, shares suffered a kneejerk reaction to the OPEC meeting over the weekend before recovering to trade higher. FTSE-listed shares of Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) finished 1.1% lower and 0.3% higher, respectively.

US shares rallied following a recovery in the energy sector after the fall in oil prices earlier in the day. Healthcare and consumer goods were the best-performing sectors.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipped to rise 53 points or 1% higher at the open.

Shares in focus will include Mcgrath Ltd (ASX: MEA). Yesterday, shares in the real estate agent business fell 31% to $0.90 after announcing a sharp profit downgrade.

Amcor Limited (ASX: AMC) shares will also be in focus. The packaging specialist announced yesterday afternoon that it agreed to acquire Alusa, the largest flexible packaging business in South America for $US435 million, or around 8.5 times operating profit.

Praemium Ltd (ASX: PPS) reported a 23% jump in funds under management across both its international and Australian businesses.

Finally, in broker news, Citi analysts raised their Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG) price target 60% to $2.40, while Rio Tinto was downgraded to ‘sell’ from ‘neutral’, according to Dow Jones Newswires. This morning, Rio Tinto released its first quarter production results to the market revealing an 11% rise in iron ore shipments, 6% lift in bauxite production, 10% increase in aluminum, and 2% fall in copper, compared to the prior corresponding quarter.

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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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