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Wells Fargo Profit Beats Estimates

Meanwhile, higher rates bolster interest income

Wells Fargo on Friday beat profit expectations for the first quarter as the lender earned more from higher interest rates, while executives said the U.S. economy is strong but expected to slow in response to tighter monetary policy.

The bank set aside $1.21 billion in the quarter to cover for potential loan losses, compared to a release of $787 million a year earlier.

While rate hikes have helped shore up interest income at U.S. lenders in recent quarters, the gains have come with increasing worries that economic storm clouds will get heavier as the Federal Reserve keeps rates "higher for longer".

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