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US ISM Manufacturing Remains Weak but Expansionary in April

US ISM Manufacturing Remains Weak but Expansionary in April

Christopher Vecchio, CFA, Senior Strategist

THE TAKEAWAY: USD ISM Manufacturing (APR) > 50.7 versus 50.6 expected, from 51.3 > ISM Prices Paid (APR) > 50.0 versus 52.6 expected, from 54.5 > AUDUSD BEARISH

US_ISM_Manufacturing_Remains_Weak_but_Expansionary_in_April_body_Chart_2.png, US ISM Manufacturing Remains Weak but Expansionary in April

Source: Bloomberg –prepared by Christopher Vecchio

Manufacturing growth remained positive in the United States in April, but only barely, according to the recent report from the Institute of Supply Management. The ISM Manufacturing (APR) survey showed that the index increased further into expansion territory at 50.7 from 50.6 in March, bringing forth another piece of weak economic data about the US economy.

Overall, this is being viewed as a modestly strong print for the US Dollar, which had been under pressure the past several days following the soft US 1Q’13 GDP report on Friday. Economists’ forecasts had slid lower since Friday, with numerous forecasts calling for a print below 50.0, which would have signaled a contraction in the US manufacturing sector.

In terms of the subcomponents of the report, Prices Paid, an alternative gauge of inflation, dropped to 50.0 from 54.5, a sign that price pressures are relative stable at present time. Inventories fell to 46.5 from 49.5 last month, while the Employment subindex dropped from 54.2 to 50.2 in April. The slowdown seen in the overall report is consistent with slowdowns seen in other major data prints, and the recent ISM reading fits neatly in with the narrative of softer consumer spending, softer business spending, and of course softer government spending in the wake of the budget sequestration that began in March.

AUDUSD 1-minute Chart: May 1, 2013

US_ISM_Manufacturing_Remains_Weak_but_Expansionary_in_April_body_Picture_1.png, US ISM Manufacturing Remains Weak but Expansionary in April

Charts Created using Marketscopeprepared by Christopher Vecchio

Following the release, the AUDUSD initially rose from 1.0300 to 1.0313, but soon slid to fresh session lows at 1.0275 after the weak manufacturing report as well as the weak US construction spending report for April (implicitly, demand for base metals is weakening, hence a suffering commodity currency base). Similar US Dollar strength was observed in other major currency pairs, in particular the EURUSD, which had fallen from a session high of 1.3243 ahead of the release to as low as 1.3195, at the time this report was written.

--- Written by Christopher Vecchio, Currency Analyst

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