Best and the Worst: Technology trust cashes in the dollar

SINCE TR Technology trust has about 40 per cent of its portfolio in the United States, UK investors have seen an increase in the value of their holdings simply through the strengthening dollar, as well as gaining from the strength of technology shares.

Technology funds have had a chequered history but Michael Bourne of the technology team at Touche Remnant, which runs TR Technology, believes they should be in for a new burst of activity.

'The right types of company have come through the recession and are continuing to grow. They have come up with products that did not exist before. Large corporations are laying off people but buying technology. I think this will be a major trend.'

North American Gas invests in the natural gas industries in the United States and Canada. While the US dollar strengthened against the pound last month the Canadian dollar weakened, so UK investors did not see the same sort of currency gain out of this fund.

The trust's share price is also affected by movements in the price of gas and Neil Young, the fund manager, says gas prices dropped slightly over the last few weeks after having risen over the summer when some US wells were shut down after Hurricane Andrew.

Exmoor Dual invests in income shares of split capital investment trusts and the trust's ordinary shares are showing the strain of worries about dividend payments from UK companies and an over-supply of investment trust income shares.

But a spokesman for the managers, Ian Henderson Associates, said: 'With interest rates coming down people are looking for alternative sources of high yields. That has started to show up in prices of income shares in the last few weeks and that should flow through to Exmoor Dual.'

----------------------------------------------------------------- BEST AND WORST: INVESTMENT TRUSTS ----------------------------------------------------------------- The best pounds 1 TR Technology-Ord (1998) . . . . . . . 140.74 2 Murray Enterprise. . . . . . . . . . . 127.91 3 Govett American Endeavour. . . . . . . 125.78 4 US Smaller Companies . . . . . . . . . 124.04 5 Leveraged Opportunity. . . . . . . . . 123.08 The worst 317 Gartmore Scotland-Inc. . . . . . . . 92.68 318 County Smaller Companies . . . . . . 92.65 319 Drayton English & Int'l. . . . . . . 91.93 320 North American Gas . . . . . . . . . 88.83 321 Exmoor Dual-Ord (2001) . . . . . . . 87.79 ----------------------------------------------------------------- Value of pounds 100 over one month to 1 December. Shares valued on mid-market price basis. Source: Micropal -----------------------------------------------------------------

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