3 UK shares to buy today with £3k

Rupert Hargreaves takes a look at the three UK shares he would acquire for his portfolio today as uncertainty grows.

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I am looking for UK shares to buy today as markets worldwide digest the news of a new coronavirus variant. By focusing on firms that have already shown that they can deal with lockdowns and economic uncertainty, I think I can find some great opportunities. 

I also want to own stocks that have a plan for growth in the years ahead. 

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UK growth shares 

My top pick is restaurants operator The Fulham Shore (LSE: FUL). This company’s performance over the past two years has been outstanding. The group immediately switched to takeaway service at the beginning of the pandemic, and it quickly opened up to consumers when restrictions were relaxed. Its competitive advantage is being able to offer high-quality food at a great price quickly.

Consumers love the offering and the brand. Profits are surging, and now the firm is looking to expand over the next few years.

Management wants to make the most of the distressed retail environment to move into high street locations, where landlords are offering attractive rental terms. 

I would buy the stock for the qualities outlined above. However, I am also wary that rising prices could cause the group some disruption. It may have to put up prices to consumers, which could ruin its low-cost reputation. 

Acquisition pipeline 

Halma (LSE: HLMA) specialises in the distribution of health and safety equipment. This is a relatively slow and steady industry, and the company compliments organic growth with acquisitions. 

Management has identified a pipeline of acquisition opportunities. These should enable the group to continue executing its growth strategy for the next couple of years at least. That is assuming no other potential acquisitions arrive. 

This is another business that reported an increase in growth last year, as the pandemic increased health and safety awareness. There is no guarantee this trend will repeat itself, but the provision of health and safety equipment will always be required. 

These are the reasons I would acquire the FTSE 100 stock, although I will be keeping an eye on rising prices, which could also impact the firm’s growth. Competition may also prove to be a headwind for the business. 

Pandemic shares to buy

The final organisation I would buy for my portfolio in the current environment is AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN). Not only does this company produce one of the world’s top coronavirus vaccines, but it also has a growing portfolio of cancer (oncology) treatments. 

While demand for the coronavirus vaccine may not remain elevated forever, demand for cancer treatments will likely continue to grow. This gives the business something to fall back on if or when the pandemic ends. 

These are not the only strings to the company’s bow. It also invests billions of pounds every year in research and development to discover new drugs. These initiatives should keep its pipeline full and revenues growing. 

Of course, if the research and development initiatives do not yield results, the company’s growth could slow. This is the most considerable risk to my investment thesis. 

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Rupert Hargreaves has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Halma. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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