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Talking Points

- The service-sector new business index hit its lowest since March 2016.

- The manufacturing PMI was the lowest since October and the manufacturing employment index the lowest since August.

- See the DailyFX Economic Calendar and see what live coverage for key event risk impacting FX markets is scheduled for the week on the DailyFX Webinar Calendar.

The Dollar held its ground Friday after a set of US purchasing managers’ index (PMI) figures came in well below expectations, with several at multi-month lows.

The manufacturing index dipped to 53.4 in March from 54.2 in February, well below the predicted 54.7. The services index fell to 52.9 from 53.8, below the forecast 54.2. The composite index eased to 53.2 from 54.1.

However, there was little impact on the Dollar, which held steady after the report.

Chart: EUR/USD 5’-Timeframe (March 24 Intraday)

Poor US PMI Data Leave Dollar Unscathed

Chart by IG

The seasonally-adjusted Markit Flash US Composite PMI Output Index registered 53.2 in March, to remain above the 50.0 no-change value for the thirteenth consecutive month. However, the latest reading was down from 54.1 in February and signaled the slowest expansion of private-sector output since September 2016,” noted IHS Markit, which compiles the data.

Softer business activity growth was driven by a loss of momentum in the service economy (‘flash’ index at 52.9, down from 53.8 in February). Manufacturing production also expanded at a weaker pace in March (‘flash’ output index: 54.4, down from 55.6). March data also revealed a slowdown in staff hiring by private sector companies. The latest rise in payroll numbers was only marginal and the weakest for six months,” it added.

--- Written by Martin Essex, Analyst and Editor

To contact Martin, email him at

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