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US banks report gains

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Profits at JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo rose in the first three months of the year but their shares slumped on Friday despite the gains.

JP Morgan’s profits soared 35 percent year-on-year, with more modest increases reported at Citigroup and Wells Fargo.

Analysts said the share decline was a sign investors had already factored in some of the rise.

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They were expecting more active stock markets and a lower tax rate to boost results.

Shares in all three banks sank more than 2 percent in early trading, providing a sour start to earnings season, when companies report quarterly performance to investors.

JP Morgan reported profits of $8.7 billion in the period from $6.4 billion last year, despite a decline in investment banking.

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Revenue increased 10 percent to $28.5bn, as a strong economy boosted activity at its consumer banking unit and the return of market fluctuations boosted trading, leading its equities unit to a record quarter.

Citigroup’s profits rose 13 percent, reaching $4.6bn in the quarter from $4.1bn last year.

Revenues in the quarter were $18.4bn, a 3 percent increase from the same period in 2017.—BBC

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