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Buy, Sell, Hold – what the brokers say

Financial services – mainly insurers – featured on the downside of brokers’ ledgers in the early part of the week, while miners and energy companies are in the good books for a change.

In the good books

BA-Merrill Lynch upgraded Atlas Iron (AGO to Neutral from Underperform as weak results have now been laid bare and iron ore prices have stabilised, limiting near-term downside.

JP Morgan upgraded Drillsearch Energy (DLS) to Neutral from Underweight based on the improved sector-relative valuation as the stock retreats from its April highs. The target is raised to $1.60 from $1.56 and JP Morgan increases FY15 earnings forecasts by 8%. The quarterly result beat on revenue, capex and cash flow. Further improvements will depend on the longer-term outlook and the broker awaits the investor briefing on August 1.