- JPMorgan European Smaller Companies Trust said it had topped its benchmark performance in the first half of the year, thanks to investment gains in technology, wellness and environmental sectors.

For the six months to 30th September 2020, the return on net assets was 49.2%, which outperformed by some margin the company's benchmark index, the MSCI Europe (ex UK) small cap net total return index of 34.9% over the same period.

This outperformance was almost entirely a result of positive stock selection as the company focused on investing in technology, wellness and environmental sectors.

The total return to shareholders was 62.4%, reflecting the narrowing of the discount at which the company's shares trade from 22.5% to 16.0% over the six months.

'In the short term, it is likely that the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to weigh on business activity in Europe, and with it on the fortunes of the smaller company sector in which we invest,' the company said.

The company maintained the interim dividend of 1.2 pence per share.

At 8:50am: [LON:JESC] Jpmorgan Euro Small Co. Trust PLC share price was 0p at 435p

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