The Motley Fool

The top 2 UK shares I would buy today

The content of this article was relevant at the time of publishing. Circumstances change continuously and caution should therefore be exercised when relying upon any content contained within this article.

Image of person checking their shares portfolio on mobile phone and computer
Image source: Getty Images.

The stock market tends to slow down as Christmas approaches. Few firms announce earning results or big news, and everyone starts to wind down before the holiday. A calmer market can be the perfect time to pick up some good stocks, however. Here I consider my top two UK shares to pick up right now.

What makes these my top 2 UK shares?

My criteria in my choice of the top two UK shares are fairly simple. I am choosing stocks from the FTSE that I think have a balance of low risk but high potential gains. As with most of my stock picks, I look for dividends as a nice addition to any investment. With that in mind, here are my choices.

5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!

According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…

And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential...

BP

The oil giant is my first choice of UK shares to buy. BP (LSE: BP) has a nice dividend yield, despite cutting its payout earlier this year. I also think the share price itself has been under pressure that might begin to ease.

The coronavirus outbreak acted as a catalyst for the oil price slump earlier in the year. The oil market does have its fundamental weaknesses that still hold true. Number one of these is the large amount of spare capacity in the market. However, with vaccines now being rolled out, the future is hopefully looking brighter.

OPEC and Russia, meanwhile, will be keeping production lower in order to bolster the price of crude. While I don’t think this will be enough to see oil prices sky rocket, companies like BP don’t need them to.

AstraZeneca

I think AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) could be the perfect UK share to buy this side of Christmas. Naturally, most of the press surrounding the company is dominated by its joint vaccine effort with Oxford University. While I doubt this will have any immediate positive impact on the company’s profits, it certain will help sentiment towards its shares.

Given the timeline we saw with the Pfizer vaccine, I suspect January or February will see AstraZeneca’s start to roll out. I would expect its share price to bounce when this happens.

The pharmaceutical giant also currently sees it share price under some pressure after it announced a $39bn acquisition of US biotech Alexion. This is a normal reaction given the payout AstraZeneca is making, but the deal will add both to its portfolio and its cash flow. Long term I think it is a good move.

In addition, the likely boost all pharmaceutical firms will see with increased interest in pandemics and vaccines, likely with government support, I think makes the sector one well worth looking at.

I am of the opinion that AstraZeneca is currently seeing a lower stock price than it perhaps should, making it another top pick for my choice of UK shares.

5 Stocks For Trying To Build Wealth After 50

Markets around the world are reeling from the coronavirus pandemic…

And with so many great companies trading at what look to be ‘discount-bin’ prices, now could be the time for savvy investors to snap up some potential bargains.

But whether you’re a newbie investor or a seasoned pro, deciding which stocks to add to your shopping list can be daunting prospect during such unprecedented times.

Fortunately, The Motley Fool is here to help: our UK Chief Investment Officer and his analyst team have short-listed five companies that they believe STILL boast significant long-term growth prospects despite the global lock-down…

You see, here at The Motley Fool we don’t believe “over-trading” is the right path to financial freedom in retirement; instead, we advocate buying and holding (for AT LEAST three to five years) 15 or more quality companies, with shareholder-focused management teams at the helm.

That’s why we’re sharing the names of all five of these companies in a special investing report that you can download today for FREE. If you’re 50 or over, we believe these stocks could be a great fit for any well-diversified portfolio, and that you can consider building a position in all five right away.

Click here to claim your free copy of this special investing report now!

Karl has shares in BP and AstraZeneca. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. 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

Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.

So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we're offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our 'no quibbles' 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee.

Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this.