US banking giant JPMorgan Chase reported a drop in second-quarter earnings on lower mortgage banking profits and weaker trading revenues.

JPMorgan, the biggest US bank by assets, said earnings dropped 7.9% to $5.99 billion compared with the second quarter last year.

The results reflected another quarter of weaker performance in mortgage banking, where net income fell by $433m to $709m. JPMorgan and other large banks have cut mortgage-finance staff as refinancings have slowed.

Results in stock and bond trading were also lower, with the latter suffering a 15% drop in revenues compared with the same period last year. Trading was also weak at JPMorgan and other leading banks in the first quarter.

It set aside $852m for credit losses, compared with a gain of $19m a year ago.

Areas of strength for JPMorgan included investment banking fees, which rose 3% from a year ago. The bank also pointed to higher credit card and auto loans.

JPMorgan chief executive Jamie Dimon said business conditions are on the upswing.
"Toward the end of the second quarter, we saw encouraging signs across our businesses including an up tick in wholesale utilization, strengthening pipelines in our commercial and business banking segments, and some improvements in markets activity," Mr Dimon said.

"While it is too early to assume that this momentum will continue, we have confidence in the long-term growth of the economy," Mr Dimon added.

JPMorgan's earnings translated into $1.46 per share, well above analyst estimates for $1.29.
Revenues dropped 2.3% to $25.35 billion, more than the $23.76 billion forecast by analysts.

JPMorgan shares rose 2.2% to $57.50 in pre-market trade.