Goldman Sachs Group Inc. headquarters, right, stands in New York, U.S. (Photographer: Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg)

Goldman's Big Trading Days Dropped to Lowest Last Year Since '04

(Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s traders found fewer reasons last year to celebrate.

The securities firm reaped more than $100 million in revenue on just four days in 2017, the lowest number of sessions since at least 2004, according to an annual securities filing Monday and data compiled by Bloomberg. That fell short of past periods, such as 2009 when traders hit that mark on 131 days, or December 2008, when they did so on 10 days. The bank also suffered 31 days of losses in 2017, the most in two years.

Goldman Sachs’s fixed-income trading operation struggled last year as the commodities unit turned in its worst performance since the firm went public and persistently low volatility kept clients on the sidelines. Competitors also have eaten into the bank’s business, leading it to add language in its filing to show that prices as reflected in bid-offer spreads -- the way that fixed-income trades usually get priced -- are under threat.

“Price competition has also led to compression in the difference between the price at which a market participant is willing to sell an instrument and the price at which another market participant is willing to buy it,” the New York-based company said. In addition, “in some circumstances, our competitors may offer financial products that we do not offer and our clients may prefer.”

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