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Looking for UK shares to buy? I’d start with these FTSE stocks

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If you’re thinking about buying UK shares, you have plenty to choose from. The FTSE 100 has fallen by roughly 19% year-to-date, meaning that there is a chance to snap up bargain stocks.

However, there is also a risk of danger. Most industries have been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Choosing the wrong stock could mean losing money.

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I’ve identified two UK shares that I would buy and hold for the long term. I believe they will benefit from the economy’s likely future recovery.

A great UK share to buy and hold now?

When Greggs (LSE: GRG) reopened stores after the lockdown measures were eased, many branches had queues around the block. People were excited to buy its baked products. Such is the love the UK has for its sausage rolls, including the plant-based version.

However, the Greggs share price has fallen by 37% year-to-date, making its price-to-earnings ratio just 16. I think this indicates it is an undervalued UK share and could be worth buying.

We’ll need to wait until the 28 July to see how sales have been affected, when the company releases its latest results for the 26 weeks to 27 June. I imagine the reading will be bleak, as it will cover the imposed UK lockdown period. I don’t doubt it will take a while for sales to return to normal levels. However, I have hope that the market might be pricing Greggs a tad pessimistically.

If investors want to snap up the shares before the latest results are released, it is also worth noting that reopened stores have reduced the range of products being offered, to help with meeting social distancing guidelines. 

However, if you are feeling a bit bullish about Greggs’ sales since the reopening of its stores – like I am – this could be one of the best UK shares to buy now before its stock price potentially surges.

ITV share price

While many industries have struggled during the coronavirus lockdown period as people stay at home, one area that has flourished is streaming services. Fellow-Fool Jabran Khan notes that it’s estimated that there were nearly 6m new subscribers to streaming services during the lockdown period.

This might explain why, the ITV (LSE: ITV) share price, has dropped by roughly 58% year-to-date. ITV is more of a traditional TV offering and UK subscribers are buying into online viewing platforms.

As budgets come under strain, advertising revenue will be affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The drop in the studio segment of the business will be due to a halt with much of the production work.

I think the market is pricing ITV unfairly. It has an extensive back-catalogue of shows and formats it can sell or license. The business is also making an effort with its own ITV Hub and launching Britbox with the BBC.

For long-term investors, now could be a chance to buy shares in a great UK company right now, while the stock price is cheap.

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T Sligo has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended ITV. 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.

Our 6 'Best Buys Now' Shares

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