S&P/ASX 200 to drift lower: 9 shares you need to watch today

Wall Street drifted lower again overnight, and the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is expected to follow on Melbourne Cup Day. The Sydney Futures Exchange is pointing to a 1 point fall in the index at the open.

Here’s a recap of what happened overnight:

  • FTSE 100 (UK): down 0.6%
  • DAX (Germany): down 0.3%
  • CAC 40 (France): down 0.9%
  • Dow Jones (USA): down 0.1%
  • S&P 500: flat
  • NASDAQ (USA): flat

Oil prices fell heavily after talks between OPEC and other producers failed to come to agree on any terms to cut production. Brent oil dropped 2.8% to US$48.30 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) plunged 4.1% to US$46.71 a barrel. That is likely to hit the oil and gas producers on the ASX today, including BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP), Woodside Petroleum Limited (ASX: WPL), Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG), Oil Search Limited (ASX: OSH) and Santos Ltd (ASX: STO).

Salmon farmers Tassal Group Limited (ASX: TGR) and Huon Aquaculture Group Ltd (ASX: HUO) could see some pressure on their share prices after last night’s ABC’s Four Corners program. Concerns are rising that salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour in Tasmania could become unsustainable if fish production increases.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) could see some price action as investors digest yesterday’s announcement that the bank was abandoning its “super-regional” strategy.

The RBA meets today to discuss whether the official cash rate needs to change. Most economists and the market expect the central bank to keep the cash rate on hold at 1.5%.

Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD) could also face more scrutiny with the owner of theme park Dreamworld still coming in for criticism over its handling of the fatal accident last week.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

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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