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S&P/ASX 200 set to open flat: 8 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): up 0.39%
  • DAX (Germany): down 1.03%
  • CAC 40 (France): down 0.99%
  • Dow Jones (USA): down 0.18%
  • NASDAQ (USA): down 0.58%

In London, the blue chip index ended Friday’s trading session higher despite poor US jobs data sending the market lower in the early afternoon. FTSE-listed shares of Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) rallied 1.6% and 3.2%, respectively.

US markets sank heavily into the red following the release of the May jobs data but gained ground as the day unfolded. The materials and utilities sectors were the best-performing, while financials were hardest hit.

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

Shares in focus will include gold miners, like Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX:NCM), EVOLUTION FPO (ASX: EVN) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST). Over the weekend, gold prices jumped around 2.7% following the worse-than-expected US jobs report.

This morning, UGL Limited (ASX: UGL) updated the market on construction at the Ichthys SMP and CCPP projects. UGL said the substantial delays and disruption to works have led to updated FY16 and FY17 profit guidances. It said it expects to make no profit from either project.

Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) will also be in focus today after it entered a trading halt pending the announcement of a capital raising and acquisition of the Online Republic group of securities.

Finally, in broker news:

  • Deutsche Bank analysts raised their Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) price target 3.6% to $8.55;
  • Morgans analysts downgraded Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE) shares from ‘add’ to ‘reduce’; and
  • Credit Suisse analysts cut their Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) price target 5.2% to $24.50, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any company mentioned in this article. 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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