The data shown is not constant over time and the allocation may change in the future. Totals may not sum to 100.0% due to rounding. All data source Allianz Global Investors unless otherwise stated.
Data as of 30.04.2021
Data as of 30.04.2021. Excludes Cash
|Europe ex UK||26.7|
|Pacific ex Japan||4.6|
Data as of 30.04.2021. Excludes Cash
Global equities rose over April, as upbeat US economic data lifted optimism over the outlook for the global economy. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecast that massive fiscal stimulus and a vaccine-fuelled recovery would drive the strongest global expansion in four decades, with the world economy expected to grow 6% in 2021.
April has been awash with earnings reports, with companies posting their first real results since widespread vaccinations for Covid-19 began. With high expectations baked in for many cyclical stocks, strong additional upside has been reserved for only the most exceptional performers. In contrast, more defensive stocks that had lagged the market in recent months delivered some of the strongest earnings beats.
US inflation jumped to an annual rate of 2.6%, driving speculation that the US Federal Reserve System (the Fed) may start to taper its bond-buying programme. Rising input prices have been a key driver of this inflation. Commodities such as iron ore and copper have reached multi-year highs, as have agricultural products. The oil price has more than doubled from the second quarter of 2020, with Brent crude rising back above 68 USD, a level it last traded at back in 2019.
The Trust’s equity portfolio underperformed in April, resulting in a NAV total return of 3.5% vs the benchmark’s 4.3%.
Tyman made the strongest positive contribution. Shares in the maker of window and door fittings have benefitted from a strong US market recovery, as well as improved execution under the relatively new management team. The company has since reported very strong trading update, lifting profit expectations for the year ahead.
Intuitive Surgical, the robotic surgery company, posted impressive results that saw procedures globally grow 16%, with earnings per share comfortably beating consensus. Economic reopening has contributed to a rapid recovery for elective surgery in Intuitive’s domestic US market. Having pulled their guidance last year, management reinstated their ambition for 22-26% procedure growth. The company continues to have a huge business growth runway ahead of it.
Bright Horizons made the weakest contribution to the portfolio. Shares in the provider of childcare weakened ahead of Q1 results as investors feared fewer parents returning to the workplace will translate into softer long-term growth. Since then, reported numbers have shown year on year revenue growth of -23% but we remain of the view that this is temporary owing to the consistently long-nature of Bright Horizons’ waiting lists.
Having rallied hard in March, Munich Re also dampened performance. The reinsurance company is one of few stocks yet to reach its pre pandemic peak, due to concerns that COVID-19-related losses may be higher than expected. However, renewal rates and premiums both appear resilient, with management pre-announcing higher than expected net profits and lifting full year net profit expectations.
We sold our position in ITV, the broadcasting and production house, reinvesting the proceeds into RELX, a provider of business to business data and analytics. ITV has rallied over 100% from its lows in March last year thanks to an improved outlook for advertising and the continued strength of its content unit. However, the pandemic has accelerated the structural disruption of viewing habits, calling into question the longer-term investment case. RELX by contrast has dominant market positions within the legal, academic and insurance markets, with the potential to benefit from a recovery in exhibitions and transaction-related revenues. The company’s defensive qualities are out of favour with the stock market right now, resulting in a de-rating.
After two quarters of outperformance versus their quality and growth counterparts, value stocks took a breather in April. Many cyclical stocks had already fully priced in the narrative of an economic recovery. Earnings season is forcing investors to square these expectations with financial fundamentals. Beyond this, the persistence of COVID-19 and an inflationary backdrop, are further extending equity investors’ focus.
The Fed’s decision to leave monetary policy unchanged has concentrated minds on when and how monetary policy may tighten. Inflation may remain temporarily high in the coming months thanks to base effects, rising commodity prices and supply bottlenecks. Our focus is on assessing the potential impact on businesses, distinguishing between those which can and cannot pass rising costs on to customers.
After a very substantial re-rating, equity markets have now largely priced in the near-term economic recovery. We are more focused on 2022 and beyond. Earnings disappointments are likely to be punished much more severely as the world slowly returns to normal. Against this backdrop we anticipate that resilient business models that continue to deliver reliable growth will lead the market, even if many have been out of favour in recent months. One such example is the healthcare industry, which has been instrumental in helping society manage and reduce the threat of COVID-19, yet has underperformed of late due its defensive characteristics. The underappreciated dominance of certain leading companies creates scope for meaningful long-term upside.
we anticipate that resilient business models that continue to deliver reliable growth will lead the market, even if many have been out of favour in recent months
This is no recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any particular security.
|NAV (debt at fair value)||11.6||26.5||37.1||37.4||97.3|
Source: Thomson Reuters DataStream, percentage growth, mid to mid, total return to 30.04.2021.1
|NAV (debt at fair value)||37.1||-5.7||6.3||10.9||29.5|
Source: Thomson Reuters DataStream, percentage growth, mid to mid, total return as at 30.04.2021.1
1Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future returns. You should not make any assumptions on the future on the basis of performance information. The value of an investment and the income from it can fall as well as rise as a result of market fluctuations and you may not get back the amount originally invested.This investment trust charges 70% of its annual management fee to the capital account and 30% to revenue. This could lead to a higher level of income but capital growth will be constrained as a result.
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