S&P/ASX 200 tipped for flat start: 6 shares to watch

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

Here’s a recap:

  • FTSE 100 (UK): down 0.03%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.54%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 0.51%
  • Dow Jones (USA): down 0.02%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.5%

In London, miners weighed on the market following strength from the US dollar. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) ended 2.1% and 2% lower, respectively.

US markets trended mostly sideways as expectations of a Federal Reserve interest rate rise mounted. Technology shares were the biggest movers while the materials sector came under pressure.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a flat start from the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares in focus will include James Hardie Industries plc (ASX: JHX). This morning, the building supplies business reported full-year revenue up 4% but profit down 16% to US$244.4 million.

Infratil Ltd. (ASX: IFT) announced it has agreed to buy a 48% shareholding in Canberra Data Centres (CDC) for total cash equity of $392 million. The deal is subject to FIRB approval, but Infratil said CDC is anticipating strong growth in the near-term.

Nextdc Ltd (ASX: NXT) said it has agreed to acquire a site for construction of its second data centre in Melbourne. It said the initial investment in the project, dubbed M2, is $85 million.

Finally, in recent broker news:

Bell Potter analysts cut their Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (ASX: VAH) price target 20% to $0.32;

Credit Suisse analysts lifted their Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) price target 20% to $16.05; and

Morgan Stanley analysts initiated Graincorp Ltd (ASX: GNC) shares as ‘overweight’ with a price target of $9.70, 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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