World Bulletin / News Desk
The US trade deficit in 2016 expanded to its highest level in four years as exports fell faster than imports, the Commerce Department reported Tuesday, a fact likely to play into President Donald Trump's anti-trade narrative.
But in December the deficit narrowed slightly, with services exports rising to their highest monthly level on record.
The deficit for December fell just over three percent from November to $44.3 billion, slightly below an analyst consensus forecast, partly due to robust growth in some US export sectors.
Services exports rose to a record $63.8 billion in the final month of the year, and exports of advance technology goods hit $32.2 billion, also the highest on record.
Auto-related exports to China, Canada and Mexico fell in the month. However, the deficit in goods trade narrowed with several major trading partners in 2016, an issue that has been repeatedly flagged by Trump.
Americans imported fewer Chinese goods, lowering the trade deficit with that country by 5.4 percent to $347 billion last year despite falling auto exports.
The US deficit in goods with Germany also shrank 13 percent to $64.9 billion for the year. However the imbalance with Mexico rose by more than four percent to $63.2 billion.
Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, noted that the December deficit decrease was offset by a one percent upward revision to November's deficit.
"A $1.2 rebound in the civilian aircraft surplus accounted for most of the decline in the headline deficit, but core trade -- ex-oil and aircraft -- improved slightly too," he said in a client note.
But he noted that trade deficits were likely to rise in the first quarter due to rising oil prices.
BIST 100 index rises 0.44 pct while US dollar/Turkish lira rate falls to 3.49
The day before, the dollar had rallied against both main rivals and the Dow reached a fresh record high after the US central bank kept alive the chance of a December increase in American borrowing costs.
Monthly index sees decline of 3.4 pct, according to Turkish Statistical Institute
BIST 100 index decreases 0.31 pct while US dollar/Turkish lira rate rose to 3.51
Frankfurt equities sagged despite a rally for shares in German heavy industry giant ThyssenKrupp, which announced a deal with Indian group Tata to merge their steel operations in Europe.
BIST 100 index drops 0.02 pct while US dollar/Turkish lira rate stands over 3.48
The move was seen as a bid to weather US-imposed sanctions on the embattled country.
Regulators decided in May to fine Banco Popolare di Vicenza a total of 11.2 million euros ($13.4 million), the ECB said in a press release.
BIST 100 index rises slightly 0.09 pct while US dollar/Turkish lira rate falls to 3.43
BIST 100 index rises 0.10 pct while US dollar/Turkish lira rate stands around 3.46
Borsa Istanbul's BIST 100 index goes down 0.89 pct at close, USD/TRY rate stands around at 3.44