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US: Stocks dip as trade deficit swells

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[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks opened lower on Tuesday after the US trade deficit surged more than 40 per cent in March to a six-year high.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 18,062.33, down 8.07 points (0.04 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 shed 1.45 (0.07 per cent) at 2,113.04, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index fell 12.86 (0.26 per cent) to 5,004.07.

The US trade gap was US$51.4 billion in March, jumping from a slightly upwardly revised US$35.9 billion in February, the Commerce Department said.

The increase reflected the impact of the strong dollar and a surge in imports after the West Coast port strike ended in late February.

Briefing.com analyst Patrick O'Hare said the weak trade data will take the estimate for first-quarter gross domestic product lower, perhaps into negative territory.

AFP

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