Latest ASX 200 shares to make it on top brokers’ buy list

Doing some early Christmas shopping? These 3 shares might be worth putting on your list.

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ASX 200 shares to buy A clockface with the word 'Time to Buy'

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Market sentiment is improving and those looking for ideas might want to look at 3 ASX 200 shares that leading brokers are recommending to investors.

While the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) lost its early gains and closed flat, experts are still tipping a positive end as we head towards Christmas.

Believers in the Santa Rally who are looking for new buying opportunities may consider putting Viva Energy Group Ltd (ASX: VEA) on their nice list.

ASX 200 share that’s fuelled for a buy

That’s the view of Morgan Stanley, which reiterated its “overweight” recommendation on the petrol supplier and retailer.

This is despite Viva Energy issuing a disappointing quarterly update that came in below expectations.

Rising oil prices crimped its refining margins. Weak demand with two of our biggest states only recently emerging from lockdowns also weighed on the results.

“We see Viva’s FYQ321 result as a transition – during a period of weaker domestic demand,” said Morgan Stanley.

“The backdrop for FY22 remains attractive, particularly as Asia refining margins continue to trend higher.”

The broker’s 12-month price target on the Viva Energy share price is $2.50 a share.

More ASX 200 buying options

Another ASX 200 share that may spark your interest is Origin Energy Ltd (ASX: ORG). UBS repeated its buy recommendation on the energy group following the sale of its stake in the APLNG project.

Origin Energy sold 10% of the asset to US-based EIG for $2.1 billion and is using the proceeds to pay down debt.

This gives the company optionality as it has a much stronger balance sheet. One thing that UBS reckons Origin will do is lift its dividend payment.

Management could also undertake a $500 million share buyback and/or use some capital for growth projects.

UBS upped its 12-month price target on the Origin Energy share price to $5.85 from $5.15 a share.

Should you bank on this share?

Speaking of buybacks, the Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC) share price may be one to put in your Christmas stocking.

The bank is scheduled to release its full-year results on 1 November and Morgans is urging investors to buy this ASX 200 share.

This is despite the broker slashing its forecast final dividend to 30 cents a share from 54 cents a share after Westpac announced a $1.3 billion write-down.

“WBC is our preferred major bank,” said Morgans. “We expect WBC to announce a $5bn off-market share buyback on 1 November and we expect investors to increasingly warm up to WBC’s medium-term cost out story.”

The broker has an add rating on the Westpac share price with a price target of $29.50 a share.

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Motley Fool contributor Brendon Lau owns shares of Westpac Banking Corporation. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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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