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Goldman Sachs earnings drop amid weak trading

A sign is displayed in the reception of the Sydney offices of Goldman Sachs in Australia. Photograph:( Reuters )

AFP New York, NY, USA Apr 15, 2019, 05.54 PM (IST)

Goldman Sachs reported a drop in first-quarter earnings on declines in its trading business and as it set aside more funds for bad loans in its growing consumer business.

The financial giant saw net income plunge to $2.1 billion, down 20.3 per cent from the same period of last year. At the same time revenues fell 12.7 per cent to $8.8 billion.

Goldman encountered sharp declines in key trading divisions, such as equities and bonds. Market conditions improved from the prior quarter, but volatility was low, crimping activity, the investment bank said. 

A bright spot was financial advising for mergers and acquisitions where it scored a boost in revenues, while underwriting revenues fell. 

Goldman, which has ramped up its consumer lending business through its online savings accounts, credit cards and other ventures, set aside $224 million for credit losses.

"We are pleased with our performance in the first quarter, especially in the context of a muted start to the year," said Chief Executive David Solomon. "We are focused on new opportunities to grow and diversify our business mix and serve a broader range of clients globally."

Goldman's share prices rose 0.2 per cent to $208.22 in pre-market trading.