Photo Source: REUTERS/Carlos Barria. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci attends a coronavirus response meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 29, 2020.
For the month, 70% of all closed-end funds (BATS:CEFS) posted net asset value (NAV)-based returns in the black, with 91% of equity CEFs and only 54% of fixed income CEFs chalking up returns in the plus column. For the first month in seven, Lipper’s domestic equity CEFs (+13.74%) outpaced its two equity-based brethren: world equity CEFs macro-group (+9.88%) and mixed-assets CEFs (+9.49%). For the first month in four, the Energy MLP CEFs classification (+43.67%, March’s laggard [-63.74%]) outperformed all other equity classifications, followed by Natural Resources CEFs (+24.17%) and Sector Equity CEFs (+11.85%). Real Estate CEFs (+2.77%, March’s leader) was the relative laggard of the equity universe.
For the first month in four, domestic taxable bond CEFs moved to the top of the leaderboard, posting a 3.50% return on average, followed by world income CEFs (+3.22%) and municipal debt CEFs (-3.08%). Investors became slightly more risk seeking during the month, pushing Corporate Debt BBB-Rated CEFs (Leveraged) (+5.37%) to the top of the leaderboard for the month.
For April, the median discount of all CEFs narrowed 42 bps to 9.36%—wider than the 12-month moving average median discount (7.04%). In this report, we highlight April 2020 CEF performance trends, premiums and discounts, and corporate actions and events.
Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.