Personal Assets Trust PLC (LON: PNL) have updated shareholders with a cautious view, as they tread carefully in what that the firm described as a ‘benign’ first half of its financial year.

Net asset value per share over the six months to October 31 was £415.16, rose 2.5% from the figure recorded at the end of April.

This compares to a 1.8% fall for the FTSE All-Share Index over the same time.

PAT’s investment income rose 34% to £12.1 million, with pretax profit also rising 34%, to £30.3 million.

“Despite the modest fall in the FTSE, the environment has been relatively supportive amid falling bond yields and a resilient US stock market,” said the investment trust.

The FTSE250 (INDEXFTSE: MCX) listed investment fund  said that holdings in blue chip stocks drove its performance.

PAT holds investment in many big names, such as Microsoft Inc (NASDAQ: MSFT), Coca Cola HBC AG (LON: CCH), Nestle SA (SWX: NESN) and Procter & Gamble Co (NYSE: PG).

Looking ahead, PAT said: “As regards specific political events such as Brexit, the UK general election or the US 2020 presidential election, short-term tactical decision-making is likely to fail. We try to take account of, and protect against, substantive risks to the portfolio.

“This requires an appreciation and understanding of multifarious political outcomes. However, we spend a much greater part of our time identifying and analysing businesses which should perform well regardless of the wider political and macroeconomic backdrop.”

PAT are not the only firm that have alluded to the tough market conditions which have contributed to the global slump of trading and declining consumer confidence.

The UK will wait till the 12th December for the next chapter in the Brexit saga, to find out if there will be any progress made on the tense relationship between Britain and the European Union.

Additionally, the ongoing trade war between China and the United States has led to knock on effects for the global economy, and has not been helped by the ongoing crisis in Hong Kong.