The utilities and infrastructure sector performed strongly over the lastweek, with the UBS Developed Infrastructure & Utilities Index gaining 2.7%,to close at its highest level in nine months.

The index outperformed the MSCI over the week, which gained 1.6%. The rise inthe index was primarily driven by strong gains in the large continental Europeanintegrated utilities, including E.On, which gained 8.6%, GDF Suez, which gained8.3%, RWE which gained 8.2% and Fortum Oyj, which gained 7.0%. The strongperformance of the integrated utilities was primarily driven by increasedoptimism over the outlook for the major economies in Europe and the impact animprovement in economic conditions would have on demand for electricity andpower prices. The fund performed in line with the index, gaining 2.6% overthe week.

With earnings season now largely complete, the utilities and infrastructuresector has performed reasonably well. In Europe, roughly as many companies inthe sector beat consensus estimates of earnings as those that reported earningsbelow consensus estimates. In the US however, 60% more companies beat consensusestimates than reported earnings below consensus estimates.

Ken Teale, Portfolio Manager, Nucleus Global Investors

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