JPMorgan Chase & Co’s commodities trading risk steadied in the fourth quarter after a rally in oil, metals and grains, marking a shift from the third quarter when it cut risk to pare back on proprietary trading.
Value-at-Risk (VaR) for commodities at JPMorgan stood at $14 million in the fourth quarter compared with $13 million in the third quarter, the U.S. investment bank said in earnings results released Friday.
VaR is a standard industry measure for how much of a bank’s money is at risk on any given day for trading a particular market.
JPMorgan’s commodities VaR stood at $20 million in the second quarter, before it began winding down proprietary trading in commodities and other financial instruments to comply with U.S. regulations limiting how much of its own money a bank can trade with.
For the fourth quarter, JPMorgan’s earnings jumped from a year ago, but much of the gain came from dipping into money previously set aside to cover bad loans. Net profit rose to $4.8 billion, or $1.12 a share, from $3.3 billion, or 74 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts on average had expected net profit of $1 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
JPMorgan typically leads Wall Street’s top-tier banks in reporting earnings for a quarter and its results have been a good indicator in the past for the rest of the industry.