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S&P/ASX 200 To Open Lower, 3 Shares To Watch Closely

The S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX: XJO)(^AXJO) is expected to open lower today, according to futures trading in Sydney.

Here are the data points:

Australian Dollar ($A) (AUDUSD): 71.09 US cents

Dow Jones (DJI): down 1.5%

Oil (WTI): $US47.96 per barrel

Gold: $US1,246 per ounce

Sharemarket News

In sharemarket news, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) shares fell 7% overnight after it was revealed the tech giant will face legal action for the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The Wall Street also made allegations that Spotify Inc and Netflix Inc were given access to Facebook users’ messages – something the companies deny.

In local news, ASX 200 company Sydney Airport Holdings Ltd (ASX: SYD) reported its traffic stats for November showing a 1.1% fall in domestic traffic year over year. However, international traffic rose 3.5%.

“Sydney’s fastest growing foreign nationalities included Malaysian (14.9%), American (8.4%), Chinese (7.6%) and Japanese (7.1%) visitors,” Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert said. “Australian outbound international passenger growth was 2.7%.”

Embattled beauty products company BWX Ltd (ASX: BWX) released a trading update saying it expects its 2019 financial year EBITDA to be in the range of $27 million to $32 million (click here to learn what EBITDA means). However, EBITDA in the first half is expected to be just $7 million.

This disappointing update follows previous guidance from BWX which said it would achieve “normalised” EBITDA of $40.3 million — with around $12 million to be achieved in the first half.

BWX blamed softness in sales in China, loss of momentum in the US and issues with Sukin locally.

“It is disappointing that China volumes were weaker than expected,” BWX CEO Myles Anceschi said. “We have further refined our go-to-market strategy to improve pricing controls, and ownership by signing an exclusive distribution agreement effective December 2018, that will yield more focused efforts on growing this high-growth export channel with an established partner.”

More to come.

Finally, WorleyParsons Ltd (ASX: WOR) announced it was awarded an engineering contract with INEOS Styrolution America LLC to build an ASA facility in the USA. While the company didn’t offer guidance as to how much it will earn from the project, it said the project will be operational by 2021.

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