S&P/ASX 200 to open flat Thursday: 7 shares to watch

The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEX:^AXJO) (ASX:XJO) is set for a flat open Thursday morning. Shares in focus will include Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX:BAL) and BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP).

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The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) is set to open flat Thursday morning after modest gains from global markets.

Here’s a quick recap:

  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.21%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.54%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 0.01%
  • Dow Jones (USA): down 0.50%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.21%

In Europe, miners and energy companies rallied despite comments by President-elect Donald Trump sending the share prices of pharmaceutical companies into a nosedive. The FTSE 100 ended higher for the 12th consecutive day.

FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) ended up 1.5% and 1.8%, respectively.

Making headlines yesterday was news of a meeting between BHP Billiton executives and Trump in New York. BHP Billiton has significant oil and gas interests in the United States and offshore Mexico.

A statement issued by BHP Billiton read, “Chairman Jac Nasser and chief executive Andrew Mackenzie had a productive meeting with President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence today in New York City.”

“The company looks forward to working with the new administration,” it added.

In the United States, healthcare stocks took a hit following Trump’s promise to lower costs on key drug purchases. Meanwhile, the materials and energy sectors rallied.

Closer to home, the S&P/ASX 200 is tipped to open flat. Shares in focus will include Bellamy’s Australia Ltd (ASX: BAL).

Yesterday, the infant formula producer emerged from a month-long trading halt and detailed new financial forecasts, executive changes and a deal with its key supplier, FONTERRA UNIT NZX (ASX: FSF). At one stage in yesterday’s trading its shares were as much as 40% lower.

Conversely, shares of rival a2 Milk Company Ltd (Australia) (ASX: A2M) rallied 9% for the day. 

Shares of Slater & Gordon Limited (ASX: SGH) will also be in focus after it closed 6.6% lower yesterday. However, shares in the law firm have rallied more than 25% in the past week.

In broker news, RBC Capital Markets analysts raised their Superloop Ltd (ASX: SLC) price target 10% to $5.50, and Deutsche Bank analysts cut their Brickworks Limited (ASX: BKW) price target 2.3% to $16.29, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz does not have a financial interest in any company mentioned. Owen welcomes -- and encourages -- your feedback on Google+, LinkedIn or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of A2 Milk and Bellamy's Australia. 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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