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May 2015

During the month of May, the Global Resources Fund declined by 5.2 percent, while the S&P Global Natural Resources Index fell 1.63 percent. See complete fund performance here.

Strengths

  • The fund’s underweight in metals and mining made a positive contribution to performance this month following strong gains in the prior period.
  • The fund’s exposure to foreign currencies positively affected the fund’s performance this month as global currencies fell against the U.S. dollar.
  • Syngenta AG had the single largest contribution to the fund’s performance in response to merger and acquisition (M&A) activity.

Weaknesses

  • The fund’s overweight in energy stocks made a negative contribution to fund returns as oil volatility increased from the prior month.
  • The fund’s overweight in junior growth companies and underweight in agribusiness weighed on fund performance this month.
  • Atlas Development & Support Services, a junior oilfield service company, had the single largest negative contribution to fund returns in the month.  

Opportunities

  • The total number of onshore drilling rigs increased by three to 853, and oil rigs fell by just one to 659. This is the first overall increase since November, according to Baker Hughes Inc. and represents another signal that the abrupt halt in shale production might be over.
  • Crude oil inventories in the U.S. are expected to decline for a fourth consecutive week next Wednesday as refineries continue to ramp up production for summer gasoline. 
  • Iron ore has reversed course and is showing signs of increasing momentum as reports indicate stockpiles in China are heading for a record monthly contraction.

Threats

  • Copper’s retreat from its April high might accelerate this summer if China’s monthly purchasing manager’s index (PMI) continues to worsen. China consumes approximately 40 percent of the world’s copper supply. 
  • The U.S. dollar gained 3 percent this week after falling 7 percent from its peak in March. Further gains in the U.S. dollar would be a sign of deflation globally, which would weigh on global demand and commodity prices.  

Performance data quoted above is historical. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Results reflect the reinvestment of dividends and other earnings. For a portion of periods, the fund had expense limitations, without which returns would have been lower. Current performance may be higher or lower than the performance data quoted. The principal value and investment return of an investment will fluctuate so that your shares, when redeemed, may be worth more or less than their original cost. Performance does not include the effect of any direct fees described in the fund’s prospectus (e.g., short-term trading fees of 0.05%) which, if applicable, would lower your total returns. Performance quoted for periods of one year or less is cumulative and not annualized. Obtain performance data current to the most recent month-end here or by calling 1-800-US-FUNDS.

The S&P Global Natural Resources Index includes 90 of the largest publicly-traded companies in natural resources and commodities businesses that meet specific investability requirements, offering investors diversified, liquid and investable equity exposure across 3 primary commodity-related sectors: Agribusiness, Energy, and Metals & Mining.

The Purchasing Manager’s Index is an indicator of the economic health of the manufacturing sector. The PMI index is based on five major indicators: new orders, inventory levels, production, supplier deliveries and the employment environment.

Fund portfolios are actively managed, and holdings may change daily. Holdings are reported as of the most recent quarter-end. Holdings in the Global Resources Fund as a percentage of net assets as of 3/31/2015: Syngenta AG 3.07%, Atlas Development & Support Service Ltd. 2.58%, Baker Hughes Inc. 0.23%.

 

Net Asset Value
as of 07/02/2015

Global Resources Fund PSPFX $5.46 No Change Gold and Precious Metals Fund USERX $5.45 No Change World Precious Minerals Fund UNWPX $4.54 0.03 China Region Fund USCOX $9.14 -0.13 Emerging Europe Fund EUROX $6.11 0.02 All American Equity Fund GBTFX $27.85 -0.07 Holmes Macro Trends Fund MEGAX $21.29 -0.06 Near-Term Tax Free Fund NEARX $2.24 No Change U.S. Government Securities Ultra-Short Bond Fund UGSDX $2.00 No Change