Wall Street giant Citigroup has topped expectations in its first quarter results.

Revenue was up three per cent at $18.87bn (£13.24bn), above consensus estimates of $18.74bn.

Analysts had expected the group to report profits of $1.61 per share but it beat this with earnings of $1.68 per share.

"Our first quarter results demonstrate strength and balance across our franchise and position us well for the rest of the year," chief executive Michael Corbat said in a statement.

Return on equity was its highest in years at 9.7 per cent.

Shares in the bank are down three per cent this year, but were up 3.2 per cent in pre-market trading at $72.13.

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The results come at a time of market volatility, with Wall Street experiencing several rollercoaster days of trading in the first few months of 2018.

"While market conditions have been uneven so far this year, our first quarter results show our ability to deliver for both clients and shareholders and we look forward to sustaining this momentum for the balance of the year," Corbat added.

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Today's slew of US bank results, which also included JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo, boosted markets as investors braced for positive numbers amid a slightly calmer mood after geopolitical tension made markets skittish yesterday.