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By by Bradley Gerrard | Published Jun 16, 2011

Fidelity sells down precious metals

The manager sold a precious metals exchange traded fund, which made up 2.5 per cent of his portfolio, having held the position for two years.

In commodities he now only holds a 2 per cent position in the $6.1bn (£3.7bn) Schroder Alternative Solutions Commodity fund, which holds some precious metals and makes his exposure 0.5 per cent.

He has liquidated his ETF holding, which consisted of gold, silver, platinum and palladium, amid the commodity price fall in May.

Mr Philalithis said: "Commodities had seen a strong run but if we were entering a slowdown I thought commodities could be the first to suffer."

The manager said the ETF holding had appreciated by almost 90 per cent from when he purchased it two years ago.

The trades come after commodity prices crashed in May, sparking fears they had hit bubble level. From May 3 to May 6, silver fell from almost $44 per troy ounce to $34 per troy ounce.

Mr Philalithis said he was "conscious" of how the next few months would play out, given the deteriorating macroeconomic backdrop. He said one area he might add to was government bonds.

He said: "If we do see a slowdown, we could see a pretty strong run in government bond yields because of the safety trade. The duration on the fund has been roughly four years, which is shorter than the market, but we could extend that.

"It depends on how economic data goes. There will be some very important data coming out of the US soon.

"In terms of risk aversion and higher volatility, investors do go to safety and government bonds still seem to be one of the favoured places to go to."

Mr Philalithis said on the bond side he has rotated money from the $125.8m Loomis Sayles Global Opportunistic Bond fund to Franklin Templeton's $44.9bn Global Bond fund run by Michael Hasenstab and Sonal Desai.

Both vehicles remain in the portfolio but the Loomis fund has fallen from approximately 10 per cent to 7 per cent of the portfolio, while the Templeton vehicle has appreciated to 5 per cent from 3 per cent.

He said: "The Templeton fund has exposure to what I call high-quality sovereign bond markets - so hardly any G3 exposure."

The manager added that credit positions he initiated in the first quarter had performed strongly.

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