ASX 200 set to fall: 16 shares you need to watch today

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is expected to open slightly lower when trading begins at 10:00am AEDT this morning, following the lead set by Wall Street overnight. That said, it could receive a boost from the earnings reported by some of Australia’s biggest businesses.

  • FTSE 100 (UK): down 0.48%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.28%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 0.32%
  • Dow Jones (USA): down 0.35%
  • NASDAQ (USA): down 0.81%

Woolworths Limited (ASX: WOW) is the biggest company to have reported its earnings today. It said that comparable sales had improved in the final quarter but revenue from continuing operations was still 1.2% lower for the year.

It follows the earnings results reported by Wesfarmers Ltd (ASX: WES) on Wednesday, which saw the shares fall more than 2% for the day. Woolworths also announced the sale of its Home Timber and Hardware business to Metcash Limited (ASX: MTS) on Wednesday, with both stocks in a trading halt at the time of writing.

Meanwhile, Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) reported a record total transaction value (TTV) for the 2016 fiscal year, with revenue also increasing 11.2% to $2.7 billion. Underlying net profit, however, fell 3.8%.

Other companies that have reported include South32 Ltd (ASX: S32), iCar Asia Ltd (ASX: ICQ) and Costa Group Holdings Ltd (ASX: CGC).

ERM Power Ltd (ASX: EPW), RCG Corporation Ltd (ASX: RCG), 3P Learning Ltd (ASX: 3PL), Shaver Shop Group Ltd (ASX: SSG) and Mortgage Choice Limited (ASX: MOC) have reported their results, as well.

Elsewhere in the market, energy shares could take a hit after Brent oil prices fell a little over 2% overnight. That could weigh on businesses such as BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO).

Gold miners will also be in focus after the gold price slipped 1% overnight. Shares of businesses such as Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM) and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) could take a hit as a result.

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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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