A good read from the US. Are manufacturers optimistic about Donald Trump’s policies? Expectations stood at 56 points. Any score above 50 reflects expansion and at 57.7, we are already talking about stong growth.
Among the components, inflation expectations remain elevated with the Prices Paid component standing at 68 points. New orders are also at sky-high levels: 65.1, which is a big jump from an already high level of 60.4 in January.
The caveat comes from the employment component. This NFP hint dipped from a high of 56.1 points to 54.2, below expectations. The manufacturing sector is a small one, but this could also serve as an ominous sign to the larger services sector.
The reaction in currency markets has been quite muted: USD/JPY remains stable around 1.1387, holding onto high ground, while EUR/USD is actually bouncing back to 1.0540.
Apart from the miss on the employment component, the lack of an extended dollar rally may have resulted from a weak read on construction spending: it dropped by 1% while expectations stood at a gain of 0.7%. However, the drop came on top of an upwards revision and this is not the most important publication out there.
The dollar rallied quite strongly on hawkish comments from the Fed. The usually dovish Dudley, No. 3 at the Fed, said the case for raising rates is compelling. Alongside comments coming from John Williams, stating that interest rates are abnormally low, the dollar had reasons to rise. President Trump’s speech was OK and did not get in the way.
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