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Brokers say buy these 2 ASX shares today

In the last 30 days the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) has finally started to make a push into positive territory for the year. During this period the index has managed to put on a solid gain of almost 5%, which puts it up by close to 2% year-to-date.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the two shares I’m going to talk about today which have been subject to sharp declines. However both shares have just been upgraded to buy recommendations by brokers according to CommSec, which could possibly be a sign that now is the time to invest.

AIR N.Z. FPO NZ (ASX: AIZ)

The shares of Air New Zealand have come under heavy selling pressure in the last 30 days, dropping by a massive 21%. This is even greater than the 16% decline that Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) has taken since it downgraded its capacity outlook.

But there is a chance the shares might retrace some of these declines following a consensus upgrade to a moderate buy recommendation.

With oil prices rising close to US$50 a barrel, I would be hesitant to invest in an airline right now despite the broker recommendation. If the current oil price remains at this level for some time then Air New Zealand could see significant pressure on margins in the future.

AMP Limited (ASX: AMP)

AMP’s share price suffered from a 5% decline when it released its first quarter update last week. It has yet to recover any of these declines and sits down by around 6% for the last 30 days.

This was largely the result of a disappointing quarterly update which revealed a challenging period for the company. Net cashflows in its Australian wealth management division took a steep dive to $209 million from $342 million a year earlier. Management has blamed this on market volatility and advisers adjusting to an enhanced regulatory environment.

It would appear as though brokers believe a positive change is coming,  as the consensus recommendation for AMP’s shares has just been upgraded to a strong buy. Although the shares do appear cheap now after the sell-off, I would still choose Magellan Financial Group Ltd (ASX: MFG) ahead of AMP if I were looking for exposure to the industry.

Foolish takeaway

On this occasion I’m sitting on the fence with these broker recommendations. Personally, I believe there are better options elsewhere on the market for investors to choose from.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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