Investing.com - Manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia-region expanded at the fastest pace in four months in April, easing concerns over the U.S. economic outlook, official data showed on Thursday.
In a report, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that its manufacturing index improved to a reading of 7.5 this month from March's reading of 5.0. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 6.0 in April.
On the index, a reading above 0.0 indicates improving conditions, below indicates worsening conditions.
Indicators for general activity and new orders were positive but remained at low readings.
Firms reported overall declines in shipments this month, but employment and work hours increased at the reporting firms.
Firms reported continued price reductions in April, with indicators for prices of inputs and the firms' own products remaining negative.
The survey's indicators of future activity suggest a continuation of modest growth in the manufacturing sector over the next six months.
EUR/USD was trading at 1.0724 from around 1.0733 ahead of the release of the data, GBP/USD was at 1.4909 from 1.4917 earlier, while USD/JPY was at 119.15 from 119.08 earlier.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was at 98.15, compared to 98.09 ahead of the report.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock markets were lower after the open. The Dow 30 fell 0.1%, the S&P 500 dipped 0.25%, while the Nasdaq Composite inched down 0.1%.
Elsewhere, in the commodities market, gold futures traded at $1,202.40 a troy ounce, compared to $1,204.30 ahead of the data, while crude oil traded at $55.42 a barrel from $55.75 earlier.
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