ASX 200 to rise above 5,500: 9 shares to watch

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is expected to rise above 5,500 points today following what was a strong night for equity markets. The Sydney Futures Exchange is pointing to a 20-point gain at the open after Microsoft helped propel the S&P 500 to a new high overnight.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.47%
  • DAX (Germany): up 1.61%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 1.15%
  • Dow Jones (USA): up 0.19%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 1.06%

The gold miners could come under more pressure today after the spot gold price fell 1.4% overnight.

One ounce of the precious metal is now fetching around US$1,314, which could weigh on companies such as EVOLUTION FPO (ASX: EVN) and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) whose shares have skyrocketed this year.

Independence Group NL (ASX: IGO) could also be in focus after its shares slipped 6.4% yesterday. The gold miner said it was accelerating development of the Bollinger orebody at its Nova Project to unlock “significant additional value”. It believes this could increase the net present value (NPV) of the project by $128 million and improve FY18 real free cash flow by $134 million.

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) is another miner to watch. Its shares fell sharply yesterday following its operations update, so investors will hope for a rebound today.

BHP spin-off South32 Ltd  (ASX: S32) issued its quarterly report this morning. It said that guidance was either met or exceeded for the majority of operations which could provide some support for its shares today.

Indian sandalwood plantation owner TFS Corporation Limited (ASX: TFC) announced it will issue US$250 million of new senior secured notes. The company said the amount raised will be used to repay existing debt in order to lower its cost of borrowing from 11% to 8.75%. However, it also said it will have “surplus net proceeds of around A$50m available for general corporate purposes”.

Meanwhile, infection control solutions business Nanosonics Ltd. (ASX: NAN) reported another quarter of record sales. Sales hit $15.1 million, up 25% on the prior quarter thanks to continued strong adoption in North America. It also improved its cash balance thanks to a second consecutive quarter of positive cash flow.

In the tech space, Integrated Research Limited (ASX: IRI) updated its profit guidance after the market closed yesterday. It expects revenue to grow as high as $85 million, while profit is expected to fall in the range of $15.3 million to $16 million, up from $14.3 million for the prior year.

Infomedia Limited (ASX: IFM) investors will also be looking for further gains today after Bell Potter initiated coverage on the stock on Wednesday. It said shares were a Buy with a price target of 75 cents, which saw shares surge higher on the day.

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The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Microsoft. Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman has no position in any stocks mentioned. 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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