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( — A slump in equity issuance, a fall in takeover activity and a sharp decrease in volatility – the swings in share prices that boost banks’ trading revenues – would force banks to rely on debt underwriting and fixed income trading for their profits, analysts said.

“Evidence of cyclical headwinds on investment banking and equity sales and trading revenues in March tempered earnings expectations … and once again set the stage for a focus on FICC [fixed income, currencies and commodities] as the wild card for earnings growth in the quarter,” wrote Brad Hintz of Bernstein Research in a recent note to clients.

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