<strong>SAINT GOBAIN</strong><br />Goldman Sachs removed Saint Gobain from its “buy” list and downgraded the stock to “neutral” following a period of outperformance. The broker upgraded its 12-month target price to €39, from €31.4, but said that there is limited upside relative to the sector average. Upside risks include stronger-than-expected rebound in European construction activity and faster margin recovery through further cost cutting, it said.<br /><br /><strong>XSTRATA</strong><br />Royal Bank of Scotland raised its earnings forecasts for Xstrata by 10 per cent on average through 2011, based on increased production forecasts and lower unit costs. It also revised its target price to 1,050p per share, up from 625p, on the back of spot pricing adjustments and upgraded its rating to “buy”, saying it would look to build Xstrata positions going into 2010. The broker is “neutral” on the mining sector, relative to the market.<br /><br /><strong>ASHMORE</strong><br />UBS upgraded Ashmore to “buy” on the back of strong full-year 2009 results. Ashmore’s diluted earnings per share of 16p was 10 per cent above the broker’s forecast of 14.5p. It said the tone of the outlook statement was upbeat and the group’s net fund flows have now turned positive. The broker raised its target price to 275p, from 220p, saying it values the stock using a sum-of-the-parts approach.