Global equities continued to rally in the month of April, fueled by abundant liquidity and improved economic data. Emerging markets equities surged, far outpacing developed markets. The best performing developed markets in April included Norway, Portugal, Austria, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The biggest laggards included Finland, Israel, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. From a sector perspective, the best performers were energy, telecommunication services, utilities, financials, and consumer staples, while information technology, health care, consumer discretionary, industrials, and materials underperformed. Currency proved favorable as most major currencies advanced against the US dollar during the period, thus amplifying returns on overseas assets from a US investor’s perspective. Continue Reading »
The Fund outperformed the MSCI EAFE Index during the month, due primarily to positive stock selection. Fund holdings in the energy, banks, telecommunication services, food beverage & tobacco, and transportation industry groups contributed to relative outperformance. Fund holdings in the materials, media, consumer services, retailing, and insurance industry groups partially offset relative outperformance versus the Index. The largest individual positive contributor to return was oil & gas exploration company, BG Group Plc (United Kingdom). Additional top contributors during the period included banking & financial services provider, HSBC Holdings Plc (HSBC) (United Kingdom), oil & gas exploration company, CNOOC Ltd. (CEO) (Hong Kong), mobile telecommunications operator, China Mobile Ltd. (CHL) (Hong Kong), and energy services firm, Technip SA (France). The largest single detractor from performance was multinational airline holding company, International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (United Kingdom). Other notable detractors included cruise ship operator, Carnival (United Kingdom), PVC pipe & silicon chip producer, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., Ltd. (Japan), industrial gas company, Linde AG (Germany), and financial services company, Zurich Financial Services (Switzerland).
The market commentary expresses the portfolio managers’ views as of the date of this report and should not be relied on as research or investment advice regarding any stock. These views and the Fund holdings and characteristics are subject to change. There is no guarantee that any forecasts made will come to pass. Any securities identified and described in this report do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold or recommended for client accounts. The reader should not assume that an investment in the securities identified was or will be profitable. Diversification does not protect against market loss.