S&P/ASX 200 set to rise: 8 shares to watch

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

Here’s a recap:

  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.18%
  • DAX (Germany): up 1.65%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 1.19%
  • Dow Jones (USA): up 0.1%
  • NASDAQ (USA): down 0.14%

In London, the FTSE 100 was led higher by the energy sector, notably Shell. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) ended 0.1% and 0.3% lower, respectively.

US markets played out a similar theme, with energy shares leading the Dow Jones to a modest gain with oil closing above US$50 a barrel. The healthcare sector was the worst-performing.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping an 18-point, or 0.3%, fall from the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares in focus will include Sky Network Television Ltd (ASX: SKT). This morning, the company announced it is in discussions with Vodafone Group Plc “regarding a potential transaction involving a combination of the businesses of SKY and Vodafone New Zealand.”

Also this morning, National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) released its “replacement” prospectus for its Capital Notes 2 offer.

Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) announced it will continue it capital management program, announcing a further debt buyback for as much as $US3 billion.

SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited-Ord (ASX: SKC) announced the successful completion of the retail bookbuild component of its recent capital raising.

Kathmandu Holdings Ltd (ASX: KMD) said it has lodged a claim with the New Zealand High Court for the recovery of costs associated with last year’s takeover bid from Briscoe Group Limited. The retailer believes it is entitled to recover costs of up to $NZ2.67 million.

Finally, in broker news:

  • Macquarie analysts cut their Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) price target from $4.80 to $4.50;
  • Deutsche Bank analysts raised their Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN) share price target 4.1% to $13.95; and,
  • Citi analysts cut their UGL Limited (ASX: UGL) price target from $2.82 to $2.40, 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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