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  • Markit Composite PMI prints 49.6 (final) in February as expected.
  • US Dollar Index stays in positive territory near mid-97s.

The economic activity in the US’ private sector contracted at a modest pace in February with the IHS Markit’s Composite PMI falling to 49.6 (final) from 53.3 in January. This reading matched the previous estimate and the market expectation.

Further details of the report showed that the Services PMI slumped to 49.4, as expected, from 53.4.

Commenting on the data, “political and economic uncertainty, the coronavirus outbreak and financial market turmoil all risk building into a cocktail of risk aversion that has severely heightened downside risks to the economy in coming months,” said Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit. “Much will depend of course on the speed with which the virus can be contained and how quickly business can return to normal.”

USD reaction

The US Dollar Index largely ignored this comment and was last up 0.38% on the day at 97.52.