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S&P/ASX 200 set to open lower: 7 shares to watch

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

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA): down 1.17%
  • NASDAQ (USA): down 1.19%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.04%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.21%
  • CAC 40 (France): down 0.04%

In London, news of a decision from the Bank of Japan to withhold further stimulus “stunned” markets, according to The Telegraph. A rally in resources shares edged markets higher. FTSE-listed shares of Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) ended 2% and 4.1% higher, respectively.

US markets finished firmly lower following the BoJ’s inaction as well as news that Carl Icahn, the billionaire activist investor, sold his stake in Apple Inc. The technology sector was the worst-performing, falling 1.95%, while consumer staples rose 0.28%.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping an eight point, or 0.1%, fall in the S&P/ASX 200.

OceanaGold Corporation (ASX: OGC) shares will be in focus today. Yesterday evening, OceanaGold released its first quarter report showing record gold production of 122,782 ounces at a consolidated all-in sustaining costs of $716 per ounce.

Also yesterday evening, Broadspectrum Ltd (ASX: BRS) directors reversed their original recommendation and are now instructing shareholders to accept the $1.50 per share cash takeover offer from Ferrovial. Broadspectrum’s change of mind follows the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea’s decision to close down the Manus processing centre. Broadspectrum is the operator of the facility.

This morning, Rio Tinto announced it successfully bought back $1.359 billion of its own debt as part of its plan to reduce gross debt levels.

Lynas Corporation Ltd (ASX: LYC) revealed its third quarter report showing negative free cash flow of $7.4 million. Further, the miner said it is stopping sales of heavy rare earths immediately and its lenders will amend debt facilities.

BlueScope Steel Limited (ASX: BSL) announced the pricing of $US500 million of debt at 6.5%. The amount exceeds the initial $US300 million, but proceeds will be used to retire other more expensive debt.

Finally, in broker news, analysts at UBS raised their Pacific Brands Limited (ASX: PBG) price target 15% to $1.15, while Canaccord Genuity analysts moved Independence Group NL (ASX: IGO) to a “hold” and cut their price target 6.1% to $3.10, 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's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Apple. 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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