Woodford Stays Defensive Amid Market Gains

Whille stocks have been performing well, top U.K. fund manager Neil Woodford is keeping his portfolio in defensive position.

“At a time when the U.K. stockmarket appears more relaxed about the risks facing the world economy and financial markets, we have become a bit more cautious,” Woodford said in a recent client note, according to The Financial Times. “The environment is still very challenging in a real sense, but financial markets have been propped up by symptomatic treatment rather than by a cure of the world’s economic problems. The gap between reality and perception has therefore widened.”

One defensive area Woodford remains high on: tobacco stocks. “We retain our view that the current valuations do not fully reflect the quality, dependable characteristics that the likes of British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco and Reynolds American can bring to a portfolio,” he said. Woodford is also high on defensive areas like pharmaceutical stocks and defense stocks.