Macquarie warns of slump in profits

Macquarie, the one-time bidder for the London Stock Exchange and Australia's largest investment bank, yesterday warned that first-half profits could slump by a quarter as a result of "weakening market conditions".

It comes against a backdrop of bad results from investment banks across the world, which have suffered as deal volumes have dried up and trading activity in world markets has been torpid.

Analysts have seen a deterioration in trading in recent weeks at Macquarie, which sparked fears that the company would fail to meet their forecasts. At the bank's July annual meeting, Macquarie warned of an uncertain outlook citing factors such as the European sovereign debt crisis and concerns over the economy.