Investing.com - Activity in the US manufacturing sector
registered a larger-than-expected expansion to a 9-month high in
July, according to preliminary data released on Friday.
In a report, market research group Markit said that its flash
manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 52.9 in July
from the prior month's final reading of 51.3.
That was the highest level since October 2015.
Analysts had expected an increase to 51.6 this month.
On the index, a reading above 50.0 indicates expansion, below
The report further indicated that new business volumes expanded
at the fastest pace since October 2015, while showing the strongest
increase in manufacturing payroll numbers for 12 months.
Markit chief economist Chris Williamson commented, "July saw
manufacturers battle against a strong dollar, the ongoing energy
sector downturn and political uncertainty ahead of the presidential
election, yet still achieved the best growth seen since last
Williamson was cautious about calling this the beginning of a
stronger upturn, but still felt that data was encouraging after the
second quarter showed the sector's worst performance in over six
"In particular, an upturn in hiring which resulted in the
strongest job growth for a year suggest companies are feeling
brighter about the outlook and starting to expand capacity again,"
In an immediate reaction, EUR/USD was trading at 1.1016 from
around 1.1019 ahead of the release of the data, GBP/USD was at
1.3088 from 1.3101 earlier, while USD/JPY was at 105.92, compared
to the prior 105.97.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket
of six major rivals, was at 97.13, compared to 97.10 ahead of the
Meanwhile, U.S. stocks were trading flat after the open as the
Dow 30 slipped 2 points, or 0.01%, the S&P 500 edged forward
less than a point, or 0.02% , and the tech-heavy NASDAQ Composite
Elsewhere, in the commodities market, gold futures traded at
$1,320.10 a troy ounce, compared to $1,323.35 ahead of the data,
while crude oil traded at $44.37 a barrel from $44.56 earlier.
offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial
Read more News on Investing.com and download the new
for Android and iOS!