The Fund rose +14.9% during the month (B Class), compared with the EMIX Global Mining Gold Index which rose +12.3% (in Sterling terms).
The gold sector made gains during the month as the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drove demand for safe-haven assets. Gold’s rally highlights the diversification benefits of an allocation to precious metals, as global stock markets and risk assets such as cryptocurrencies face heavy losses amid heightened volatility. With the deterioration of the situation in Ukraine we see a range of implications for metals and mining, including higher costs for energy and raw materials, alongside broader supply chain issues. Baker Steel’s funds are actively positioned to offer investors important diversification in troubling times, while managing portfolio risks in this volatile environment. We have also materially divested of the Fund’s Russian exposure (which was held via equities listed on established western exchanges only) to virtually zero at the time of writing.
Aside from the Ukraine crisis, we are seeing positive signs for precious metals at present. We expect the recent headwinds for the gold sector to continue to abate in the months ahead, particularly as we approach the start of the US rate hike cycle and as clarity grows over the limited scope for higher real rates. Through a focus on high-quality, undervalued, producers which can manager higher energy costs and protect margins, the ES Baker Steel Gold & Precious Metals Fund is positioned to benefit from the recovery of the gold mining sector and the next bull market phase for gold.
You can read more about our views on the interplay between gold, inflation, interest rates and geopolitics here.