ASX 200 set to fall: 10 shares you need to watch today

The market is expected to open slightly lower this morning, following the lead set by international share markets overnight. Once again, investors will be particularly focused on earnings results while attention will also be given to the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, which is expected to cut its cash rate.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.22%
  • DAX (Germany): down 0.39%
  • CAC 40 (France): down 0.36%
  • Dow Jones (USA): down 0.2%
  • NASDAQ (USA): down 0.4%

Telstra Corporation Ltd (ASX: TLS) is the biggest of Australia’s businesses to report earnings today. The telco reported a full-year net profit of $5.78 billion – up 36.6% on the prior year – while revenue also increased 2.7%.

Telstra also announced a final dividend of 15.5 cents, fully franked, taking its full-year payout to 31 cents per share, and also announced a $1.5 billion share buyback.

Retail business Nick Scali Limited (ASX: NCK) has also reported a 30.4% increase in revenues, and a 53.1% jump in net profit to $26.2 million. These figures had already been reported by the company, however, with management also stating that the exceptional profit growth in FY16 is unlikely to be replicated in FY17.

Elsewhere, Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd (ASX: VAH) and Goodman Group (ASX: GMG) are expected to report their earnings today, as well.

Gold producers could be set for another strong session today after the spot gold price rose 0.5% overnight. That bodes well for Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM).

On the other hand, companies such as BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO) could suffer as a result of a dip in the iron ore and oil prices. A stronger Australian dollar could also drag their shares lower.

Indeed, the Australian dollar is back trading for more than US 77 cents. That is well above the RBA’s unofficial target level, which could prompt the Reserve Bank of Australia to cut interest rates further at future meetings.

In the meantime, a stronger dollar could drag on businesses that generate much of their earnings in overseas markets.

Meanwhile, Automotive Holdings Group Ltd (ASX: AHG) will be in focus today as well. After more than 17 years in the job, CEO Bronte Howson will retire and will be replaced by John McConnell.

Finally, DuluxGroup Limited (ASX: DLX) has announced the acquisition of Craig & Rose – a small UK-based paints business. With sales of less than $10 million annually, however, the sale is not material to the business and is unlikely to move DuluxGroup’s shares too much.

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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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