FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ Germany's fourth biggest bank, Commerzbank, said Wednesday it earned euro70 million ($79 million) in the second quarter, up from euro2 million last year as earnings from trading securities improved.

The bank's improved result met the expectations of analysts surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires, who forecast earnings of euro67 million ($76 million) for the latest April-June quarter.

But deductions for bad loans _ a big problem for all major banks as Germany's economy stagnates _ amounted to euro303 million ($349 million), down from euro308 million in the same quarter a year ago but up from euro252 million in the first quarter of this year.

Earnings from trading securities rose to euro278 million ($314 million) in the latest quarter from euro104 million a year ago, Commerzbank said.

Commerzbank lost euro298 million last year as slumping stock markets and bad loans from business customers _ the result of a wave of business bankruptcies _ weighed on earnings. It cut costs by eliminating 3,400 jobs and reported a euro3 million profit in the first quarter.

The Frankfurt-based bank is the fourth-largest in Germany _ behind Deutsche Bank, HVB Group, and Allianz's Dresdner Bank subsidiary.