S&P/ASX 200 set to rise: 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 0.27%
  • DAX (Germany): down 0.69%
  • CAC 40 (France): down 0.61%
  • Dow Jones (USA): up 0.37%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.26%

In London, the blue chip index ended higher as oil prices rallied and pushed energy shares upwards. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) ended 2.4% and 1.3% higher, respectively.

In the USA, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 18,000 points. The materials and consumer staples sectors led gains.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a 9-point, or 0.15%, rise from the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares in focus will include Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd (ASX: LNG). So far this week, shares of the prospective LNG tolling facility owner have rallied 67% on relatively little company-specific news.

Amcor Limited (ASX: AMC) shares will also be in focus. This morning, the global packaging business revealed conditions within its Venezuelan business continued to deteriorate. The company said it will incur a one-off charge of approximately $US350 million in FY16, and in FY17 the profit before tax for both Amcor group and the Rigid Plastics business will be negatively impacted to the tune of $US40 million.

Sky Network Television Ltd (ASX: SKT) and Vodafone NZ announced the two companies will merge to “have the ability to offer New Zealand’s best entertainment content across all platforms and devices.” Vodafone will become a 51% shareholder in the combined group, with consideration in the form of new SKY shares and $NZ1.25 billion cash.

Embattled online retailer, Surfstitch Group Ltd (ASX: SRF) announced a trading update this morning revealing a $20.3 million reversal of revenue will be recorded in full-year results and the pro-forma FY16 operating loss is likely to exceed $17.3 million.

Finally, in broker news:

  • UBS analysts lifted their Insurance Australia Group Ltd (ASX: IAG) price target from $4.85 to $5.40;
  • Credit Suisse analysts upgraded Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) from ‘Neutral’ to ‘Outperform’ with a $7 price target; and,
  • Citi analysts downgraded Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD) shares from ‘Buy’ to ‘Neutral’, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz owns shares of LNG Ltd. 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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