Fund manager commentary
British Assets Trust NAV Total Return was 0.1%, compared with a rise of 0.6% for the composite benchmark index – which is 80% FTSE All-Share Index/20% FTSE World (ex UK) Index. The FTSE All-Share increased by 0.6% and the FTSE World (ex UK) by 0.6%.
Markets eked out another month of small gains as ongoing forces of central bank liquidity overcame further moderate to disappointing economic news in most major countries.
Commodity prices were volatile but generally lower with Brent crude oil briefly dipping below $100 in the middle of the month. This at least reduces further any inflationary pressures on consumers.
The first quarter earnings season in the US has been relatively quiet as companies generally met recently revised down earnings expectations, although revenue performances were slightly less positive.
We would still expect equity markets to pause for breath; particularly if we carry on in the current softer economic patch in the US (with the full effect of sequestration cuts being felt and consumer savings rates already low) and with European prospects remaining fragile as companies have to contend with practically no economic growth as the new reality.
As at 30 April 2013
The value of shares and the income from them is not guaranteed and can fall as well as rise due to stock market movements. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. When you sell your shares, you might get back less than you originally invested. If markets fall, gearing can magnify the negative impact on performance. Changes in rates of exchange may have an adverse effect on the value, price or income of investments. Emerging Markets, Unquoted Companies and Smaller companies carry a higher degree of risk and their value can be more sensitive to market movement; their shares may be less liquid and performance may be more volatile. The fund may invest in hedge funds or private equity funds which are not normally available to individual investors, exposing the fund to the performance, liquidity and valuation issues of these funds. Such funds typically have high minimum investment levels and may restrict or suspend redemptions or repayment to investors. The asset value of these shares and its prospects may be more difficult to assess.