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

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

Here’s a recap:

  • FTSE 100 (UK): down 0.62%
  • DAX (Germany): down 0.57%
  • CAC 40 (France): down 0.67%
  • Dow Jones (USA): up 0.01%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.08%

In London, fears of a Brexit continued to weigh on market sentiment, together with poor Chinese factory data. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) ended 1.9% and 3.7% lower, respectively.

Over the pond, US markets bucked Europe’s negative lead to trade mostly sideways. The consumer staples and energy sectors were the best-performing while technology and telecommunications shares ended lower.   

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a modest 3-point rise in the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares in focus will include APN News and Media Limited (ASX: APN). Following its planned divestment and the potential merging of its NZME business with Fairfax Media Limited’s (ASX: FXJ) New Zealand businesses, APN announced this morning it had successfully completed its retail shortfall bookbuild. That means institutional investors took up the remaining shares left over from the offer to retail investors.

Sino Gas & Energy Holdings Limited (ASX: SEH) announced additional gas sales agreements with Huashang, a large gas distribution company in the Chinese province of Shanxi.

Patties Foods Limited (ASX: PFL) announced it had entered its Scheme Implementation Deed with a subsidiary of private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners, which plans to acquire the iconic food company.

Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) shares will also remain in focus today following the biotechnology company’s decision to enter a trading halt yesterday.

Finally, in broker news:

  • Bell Potter analysts raised their Senetas Corporation Limited (ASX: SEN) price target 7.1% to $0.15;
  • Citi analysts cut their FlexiGroup Limited (ASX: FXL) price target from $3.26 to $2.78; and
  • UBS analysts lifted their Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL) from $20.60 to $23.45, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz owns Senetas 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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