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 negative leads from international markets overnight.

Here’s a recap:

  • Dow Jones (USA): down 0.6%
  • NASDAQ (USA): down 0.8%
  • FTSE 100 (UK): down 1.2%
  • DAX (Germany): down 1.0%
  • CAC 40 (France): down 1.1%

In London, mining shares again dragged the market lower while copper prices continued their fallout from China’s poor manufacturing data earlier in the week. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) fell 5.6% and 1.4%, respectively.

Declines in the energy and materials sectors pushed US markets lower on Wednesday. However, Twitter shares were a standout performer, rising 6%.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a 13-point, or 0.2%, fall in the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares in focus will include National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB). This morning, Australia’s third largest bank released its half-year report for the period ended 31 March 2016. NAB reported a 4.5% fall in revenue to $8.96 billion and a net loss of $1.74 billion, down 150%. Excluding the losses associated with the demerger of Clydesdale Bank (ASX: CYB), NAB’s profit would have been 2.4% higher.

Sky Network Television Ltd (ASX: SKT) shares will also be in focus. The New Zealand-based pay-tv operator said it signed an agreement to secure the NRL rights for five years from 2018.

Scentre Group Ltd (ASX: SCG), the Australian arm of Westfield, provided a first quarter trading update with comparable specialty sales up 4.5% and 99.5% leasing rates.

BT Investment Management Ltd (ASX: BTT) released its half-year report through March 2016 showing a 30.5% rise in revenue and 26% increase in profit. An interim dividend of 18 cents per share was declared.

Super Retail Group Ltd (ASX: SUL) released a trading update showing like-for-like sales growth across Auto, Leisure and Sports retailing for the 44 weeks to 30 April 2016. However, the company said it will recognise $43 million of transformation costs in its 2015/16 accounts.  

Finally, in broker news, Credit Suisse analysts raised their ASX Ltd (ASX: ASX) price target 3.6% to $43 while Canaccord Genuity raised their OceanaGold Corporation (ASX: OGC) price target 8.1% to $4, 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 Twitter. 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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