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Australia's Macquarie sees soft Q1 trading conditions as inflation hurts

(Reuters) -Australia's Macquarie Group (MCQEF) said on Thursday trading conditions softened amid rising inflation and fears of a recession, although volatility in gas and energy markets helped drive small gains in its markets-facing businesses.

The financial conglomerate, which does not disclose profit figures in quarterly updates, said considering the current economic backdrop, it was maintaining a cautious stance and adopting a conservative approach to capital, funding and liquidity.

The Sydney-based firm benefited from a rally in oil and natural gas prices as Russia's invasion of Ukraine tightened an already under-supplied market in the recent past. However, the energy market is starting to shed some of those gains as fears of a global recession take hold.

Commodities and global markets business - the firm's main earnings engine - helped its market facing businesses post a quarterly net profit contribution that was slightly higher than last year, it said.

During its annual results in May, Macquarie had warned earnings would fall this year, without giving a specific financial forecast, and that income from its commodities unit would also be significantly lower.

(Reporting by Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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