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S&P/ASX 200 open Friday: 10 shares to watch

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The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO)(ASX: XJO) is expected to open flat on Friday, with shares of Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG) and Tatts Group Limited (ASX: TTS) in focus.

Here’s a quick recap of global markets:

  • FTSE 100 (UK): down 0.7%
  • DAX (Germany): down 0.2%
  • CAC 40 (France): down 0.3%
  • Dow Jones (USA): flat
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.4%

In London, a rising British pound weighed on blue chip stocks, with BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) shares ending 2% and 1.2% lower, respectively.

In the US, the Dow Jones finished lower, however, good reports from technology stocks pushed the NASDAQ higher. Paypal and Twitter shares rose 6% and 5%, respectively.

Closer to home the ASX 200 is expected to open slightly lower.

Shares in focus will include energy and gas companies, such as Santos Ltd (ASX: STO), Origin Energy Ltd and AGL Energy Ltd (ASX: AGL). An overnight fall in oil prices together with the Australian government’s decision to restrict gas exports could see each company’s shares come under pressure.

Although they are not reporting today Australia’s big banks, including National Australia Bank Ltd. (ASX: NAB) and Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG), will be in focus ahead of their financial results next week.

This morning, Tatts Group Limited released an update stating that it had fully assessed the takeover proposal from Pacific Consortium, but noted that its proposed merger with Tabcorp Holdings Limited (ASX: TAH) provides better value for shareholders.

Berkeley Energia Ltd (ASX: BKY) released its quarterly report to the market saying that the development of the Salamanca mine is progressing well.

Airxpanders Inc (ASX: AXP) reported its quarterly results, showing a rise in revenue.

Finally, analysts at Macquarie raised their IOOF Holdings Limited (ASX: IFL) price target 2.4% to $8.70, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

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Motley Fool Contributor Owen Raszkiewicz owns shares of Paypal and Twitter. Owen welcomes and encourages your feedback. You can follow him on Twitter @OwenRask.

The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of National Australia Bank Limited, PayPal Holdings, and Twitter. 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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