Jefferies Group, burned worse than its peers by market turmoil at the start of 2016, generated six times more revenue from trading in this year’s fiscal first quarter and returned to profit for the period.
The blowout performance compares with more tempered forecasts from banks including JPMorgan Chase, which said in late February that trading revenue would be “modestly” higher in the first quarter. Citigroup Inc.’s finance chief, John Gerspach, predicted this month that the business would rise at a “low double-digit” pace.
Trading’s been getting a jolt in the past four months as investors reconsider their bets on stocks and bonds in the wake of two Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes and the U.S. election, which overturned expectations for economic and regulatory policy. Wall Street already started showing the benefits at the end of the fourth quarter, and shares of Jefferies’s parent, Leucadia National Corp., have surged 40% since the election.
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