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Citigroup's Corbat says trading softened from first quarter

[NEW YORK] Citigroup Inc's first-quarter gains in trading revenue haven't continued into the second, which looks to be holding at about the same level as a year earlier, Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat said.

While trading in currencies and rates picked up steam in the first three months of 2015, there isn't "the same conviction" now, Mr Corbat said on Thursday at a conference in New York. Trading results are more in-line with the second quarter of 2014, when the bank brought in US$3.74 billion from trading in fixed-income and equity markets, he said.

Mr Corbat's assessment is similar to forecasts from his counterparts at other major US banks on Wednesday. JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon said his firm's trading revenue is on pace with last year's second quarter, when it was about US$4.5 billion, not counting businesses he has since sold. Bank of America Corp will have to cut costs further in the trading division unless revenue improves, CEO Brian Moynihan said.

Citigroup produced US$3.08 billion from fixed-income trading and US$659 million from trading equities in last year's second quarter. The New York-based firm brought in US$3.48 billion and US$873 million, respectively, in the first three months of 2015.

BLOOMBERG