ASX 200 set for cautious open: 9 shares you need to watch today

Investors are likely to remain cautious again today following the release of yesterday’s inflation figures which failed to provide any clarity regarding whether or not the Reserve Bank will cut interest rates next week.

Overnight, the US Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and said near-term risks to the US economy had diminished. As such, another rate hike in that country in 2016 is possible.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.39%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.7%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 1.19%
  • Dow Jones (USA): down 0.01%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.58%

The resources sector could be in for a tough session after the rebound in oil prices proved temporary. Brent crude dropped more than 3% to less than US$44 a barrel, which could weigh on shares such as BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO).

BHP also released an update this morning regarding Samarco, saying it will recognise a provision in the range of US$1.1 billion to US$1.3 billion, which is equivalent to a 50% share of the current estimate for Samarco’s funding obligations.

The gold price, on the other hand, rebounded to nearly US$1,340 an ounce. That bodes well for businesses such as Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX: NST) today. Northern Star also released an update regarding its resources and reserves this morning which investors will likely pour over.

Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) will hold its annual general meeting today and said it expects its 2017 financial year (FY17) result to be broadly in line with FY16.

Automotive aftermarket parts business Bapcor Limited, formerly Burson Group Ltd (ASX: BAP), announced two strategic acquisitions on Wednesday after the market closed, costing a minimum of $22 million. Considering the company’s strong track record for acquisitions, investors will take a close look at that announcement.

Meanwhile, Freelancer Ltd (ASX: FLN) released its first-half earnings results, reporting a 56% leap in net revenue and a 409% jump in operating cash flow. GUD Holdings Limited (ASX: GUD) also reported its results this morning.

In broker news, UBS raised its price target on shares of Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH) by 17% to $108. The shares closed at nearly $130 on Wednesday.

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Motley Fool contributor Ryan Newman owns shares of Bapcor. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Bapcor. 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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