Investment banking: Trading - European banks outshine American firms

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European investment banks coped better with tough market trading conditions than U.S. rivals in the second quarter, when historically low levels of market volatility left investors struggling to make directional bets.

Reuters reports that FICC (fixed income, commodities and currencies) revenue at the five European banks to report second-quarter earnings fell 12 percent on average, according to Reuters calculations. HSBC and Societe Generale will report next week.

That was a better performance than the big Wall Street banks which reported an average 16 percent decline in the second quarter for FICC, with Goldman Sachs dragging down the mean with a 40 percent slide. 

In equities trading, revenue declined an average 1.6 percent for the five European banks that reported this week, compared with a 1 percent average increase for the big five U.S. banks.

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