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S&P/ASX 200 set for positive start: 6 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 0.36%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.54%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 0.61%
  • Dow Jones (USA): up 0.14%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.14%

In London, shares pushed modestly higher despite investors’ lingering concerns over Britain’s upcoming EU referendum. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) ended 0.5% and 0.4% lower, respectively.

US markets drifted sideways as Federal Reserve Chair, Janet Yellen, took a cautious tone on rising interest rates. The energy and consumer staples sectors were best performing.

Closer to home, the Sydney Futures Exchange is tipping a 15-point, or 0.3%, rise in the S&P/ASX 200.

Shares in focus will include Rio Tinto. This morning, the mining giant announced it will reduce its gross debt by $3 billion through its June tender offers. Today’s media release follows an announcement by the company yesterday evening which detailed a new organisational structure and executive team. Notably, Rio’s iron ore chief executive, Andrew Harding, will leave the business.

Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) shares will also be in focus as Australia’s largest retailer hosts its investor day presentations.

Spark New Zealand Ltd (ASX: SPK) revealed it is now New Zealand’s number one mobile operator, based on revenue earned from customers.

Finally, in broker news:

  • Bell Potter analysts raised their Medical Developments International Ltd (ASX: MVP) price target 2.9% to $7.72;
  • Deutsche Bank analysts raised their Metcash Limited (ASX: MTS) price target 16% to $1.85; and
  • Morgan Stanley analysts raised their Fletcher Building Limited (Australia) (ASX: FBU) price target 4.3% to $8.66, 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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