UPBEAT economic data and positive corporate earnings offset concerns over Donald Trump’s trade tariffs and rising interest rates in the US as the North American Income Trust outperformed its key benchmark last year.

The trust, which invests mainly in companies in the US S&P 500 Index, reported a 4.8 per cent rise in its net asset value per share over the year to January 31. The performance lagged behind the 5.6% return from the S&P Index but outstripped the 2.9% return from the Russell 1000 Value Index, its primary benchmark.

The £440 million investment trust, run by managers at Aberdeen Standard Investments, saw the discount of its share price to net-asset value narrow to 4.4% on January 31 from 5.6% the year before. Investment managers said the trust had outperformed the Russell 1000 Value Index mainly because of strong stock selection in the information technology, materials, financials and industrials sectors. Derivatives exchange operator CME Group, freight railway firm Union Pacific Corp and speciality agricultural products-maker Nutrien were among the most notable contributors. The trust’s biggest holding at January 31 was in oil giant Chevron, with the value of its stake standing at £21.8m at year end.

Chairman James Ferguson said: “Despite numerous periods of volatility, major North American equity indices moved higher over the 12-month period... buoyed by generally upbeat economic data reports and positive corporate earnings news. This offset investors’ concerns regarding rising interest rates and US trade policy under the administration of President Donald Trump.”

The total dividends for the year was raised to 42.5p per share, up 9%.