- JPMorgan and Citigroup announced first-quarter earnings on Friday, with both beating solidly.
- Both had bumper first quarters in equity trading, with JPMorgan posting a record quarter for the business.
- The results follow a volatile first quarter for the stock market, which included a sharp spike in volatility, as markets whipsawed back and forth on account of, among other things, fears of the US stoking a trade war.
Wall Street is celebrating a bumper quarter in equity trading.
JPMorgan and Citigroup announced first-quarter earnings on Friday, with both beating solidly. The two banks also posted gains in markets revenue, with JPMorgan’s markets revenue up 7% on an underlying basis and Citigroup’s total markets and securities securities revenue up 3%.
Those gains were driven by equities revenue, with JPMorgan posting record equities revenue of $US2 billion and Citigroup posting a 38% gain in equities revenue to $US1.1 billion. Fixed income revenues in contrast were flat at JPMorgan, and down at Citigroup.
The results follow a volatile first quarter for the stock market, which included a sharp spike in volatility, as markets whipsawed back and forth on account of, among other things, fears of the US stoking a trade war.
“Volatile markets drove client activity in Equity Derivatives and we saw continued strength in Prime Services, while gaining share in Cash Equities,” Daniel Pinto, the head of JPMorgan’s corporate and investment bank, said in a memo to employees.
Citigroup said its results reflected “growth across all products.” During a media call, Citi’s chief financial officer, John Gerspach, attributed the boost in equities to a mix of favourable market conditions and improvements to Citi’s franchise.
“I can’t give you a breakdown that it is X percentage from market conditions,” he said. “We are seeing steady growth in market share.”
Both JPMorgan and Citigroup have targeted gains in the equities business. JPMorgan has been investing in the business for several years, with cash equities in particular an area of focus, given it’s the one area business line in trading and banking where JPMorgan isn’t a top three player.
Citigroup meanwhile is aiming to break in to the top five for equities, and it recently undertook a shakeup in the stock trading business.
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