Trump trading surge helps JP Morgan profits

Donald Trump on a trading floor TV screen Image copyright AP

A jump in financial trading after Donald Trump's election win helped to lift JP Morgan's fourth-quarter profit.

The US bank's corporate and investment banking unit almost doubled its revenue in the three months to 31 December.

Mr Trump's victory set off a wave of activity in what is normally a slow period for trading desks at big banks.

Shares in JP Morgan rose 0.5% on Friday, while shares in Bank of America - which also reported a rise in quarterly profits - were up 0.4%.

US bank shares have soared in recent weeks on hopes that Mr Trump will loosen banking regulations and spur further interest rate rises.

JP Morgan, the US' biggest bank by assets, reported a 24% growth in profit to $6.73bn (£5.5bn) in the final quarter of the year.

"We grew market share in virtually all of our businesses and showed expense discipline while continuing to invest for the future," said JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon.

Mr Dimon, who had been a potential nominee for Treasury Secretary under President-elect Donald Trump, also said the US economy "may be building momentum".

"Looking ahead there is opportunity for good, rational and thoughtful policy decisions to be implemented, which would spur growth, create jobs for Americans across the income spectrum and help communities, and we are well positioned to play our part," he said.

On a busy day for US bank results, Bank of America posted a 43% rise in net income to $4.7bn, but Wells Fargo reported its fifth straight decline in quarterly profit.

Image copyright Reuters

It is the first set of US bank results since last month's rise in interest rates.

Bank of America's chief financial officer, Paul Donofrio, said: "While the recent rise in interest rates came too late to impact fourth quarter results, we expect to see a significant increase in net interest income in the first quarter of 2017."

The US Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate to a range of 0.5% to 0.75% on 14 December from the previous range of 0.25% to 0.5%, only the second increase in a decade.

A rate rise usually helps banks because it allows them to charge more for loans.

Bank of America, which is considered the most sensitive US bank to rate changes, cited cost cuts and improved trading for its profit rise in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Wells Fargo, which is dealing with a scandal over its sales practices, reported a 5% fall in net profit to $5.3bn in the quarter.

The results are the first since Timothy Sloan took over as chief executive from John Stumpf, who resigned in the wake of the scandal.

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