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

The S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO)(ASX: XJO) is expected to open lower on Thursday, with shares of XERO FPO NZ (ASX: XRO) in focus.

Here’s a quick recap of global markets:

  • FTSE 100 (UK): up 0.6%
  • DAX (Germany): up 0.1%
  • CAC 40 (France): up 0.1%
  • Dow Jones (USA): down 0.2%
  • NASDAQ (USA): up 0.1%

In London, shares ended slightly higher with miners leading the charge. FTSE-listed shares of BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP) and Rio Tinto Limited (ASX: RIO) finished 1.2% and 0.5% higher, respectively.

Across the pond, US markets moved mostly sideways. Shares of some big technology companies weighed on markets, while the energy sector staged a rebound.

Closer to home, the ASX 200 is expected to open modestly higher Thursday morning.

Shares in focus will include accounting software business Xero. This morning, the Kiwi company announced a 43% rise in revenue and a loss of $NZ 69 million for its 2016 financial year.

Shares of the major banks, including Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC), will also be watched closely following the Federal Government’s 2017 Budget earlier this week. As part of the Budget, the Big Five banks will be taxed an extra 0.06% on their liabilities.

AMP Limited (ASX: AMP) released its quarterly update this morning. The diversified wealth management business reported a 5% rise in the size of its mortgage portfolio.

BT Investment Management Ltd (ASX: BTT) reported its half-year financial results with revenue down 12% and profit up 1% over the prior period.

Hearing aid business Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH) announced the acquisition of Sycle LLC, a leader in audiology practice management software for $US 78 million.

Finally, Credit Suisse analysts raised their Sonic Healthcare Limited (ASX: SHL) price target 1.8% to $22.60, 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. You can follow him on Twitter @OwenRask.

The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Xero. 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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