S&P/ASX 200 set to rise: 8 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): up 0.7%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.9%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 1%
  • Dow Jones (USA): down 0.2%
  • NASDAQ (USA): down 0.2%

In London, shares ended higher for the first time in three days as the market’s focus shifted from the upcoming UK referendum to US interest rates. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) ended 3.1% and 4.4% higher, respectively.

US stock markets, bond yields, and the dollar fell thanks to dovish comments from Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen, and the central bank’s decision to keep interest rates unchanged. The materials sector was best-performing.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a slightly positive open from the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares in focus will include Crown Resorts Ltd (ASX: CWN). Yesterday evening, the resort and casino operator said it expects to undertake a major structural and capital management initiative. The undertaking will see Crown demerge certain international assets into a separate listed holding company.  It will also “explore a potential IPO” of its Australian hotels into a property trust and adopt a dividend payout policy of 100% of normalised net profit.

AIR N.Z. FPO NZ (ASX: AIZ) shares will also be in focus. This morning, the airline released its monthly investor update showing continued growth in passengers carried.

Goodman Group (ASX: GMG) reaffirmed its 2016 financial year operating profit guidance of 40 cents, saying the company benefitted from ongoing demand for quality industrial property.

Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN) updated the market on its exposure to the recent East Coast storms saying it has received approximately 8,000 claims. Costs are expected to range between $60 million and $80 million, but remain broadly in line with annual provisions.

Mount Gibson Iron Limited (ASX: MGX) announced it had agreed to an $86 million property damage insurance settlement. The $218 million company said it is pleased to have reached a final agreement with insurers for a cash settlement.

Finally, in broker news:

  • Canaccord Genuity analysts initiated coverage of SAI Global Limited (ASX: SAI) with a ‘hold’ rating and $3.47 price target;
  • Macquarie analysts cut their BHP Billiton price target 2.6% to $15; and
  • Macquarie analysts also cut their Independence Group NL (ASX: IGO) price target 2% to $3.10, 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. You can follow Owen 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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