S&P/ASX 200 set to lift: 7 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:

  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.70%
  • DAX (Germany): up 1.47%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 1.13%
  • Dow Jones (USA): up 0.82%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.70%

In London, the FTSE-100 ended higher thanks to a rise in oil prices. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) ended 2.51% and 1.44% higher, respectively.

US markets ended firmly in the green following Europe’s lead. Oil prices also lifted. The energy and materials sectors were best-performing, while utilities was the only sector to end in the red.  

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a 34-point, or 0.6%, rise in the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares in focus will include Gentrak Group Ltd (ASX: GTK). The software and services business this morning reported half-year revenue growth of 26% and profit up 21%.

FONTERRA ORD UNIT (ASX: FSF), the dairy co-operative, announced an increase of 35 cents on the forecast Farmgate Milk Price to $4.25 per kilogram milk solid (kgMS) for the 2016/17 season. “Conditions on farm are very challenging,” Chairman, John Wilson, said. “The strength of the Co-operative’s balance sheet is enabling us to increase the advance rate in the first half of the new season.”

Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) updated the market on its GLNG project saying train two has began producing LNG for the first time. “GLNG train 2 start-up adds to Santos’ LNG portfolio, which also includes the Darwin LNG and PNG LNG projects,” Santo’s CEO, Kevin Gallagher, said.

Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL) reported half-year revenue growth of 44% and profit growth of 105% for its most recent half-year reporting period.

In broker news:

  • Bell Potter analysts raised their Patties Foods Limited (ASX: PFL) price target 2.1% to $1.45;
  • Credit Suisse analysts upgraded Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) to ‘Outperform’ with a $38.61 price target; and
  • Macquarie analysts raised their Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD) price target 2.2% to $2.32, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz has a financial interest in Flight Centre Travel Group shares. 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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