Investing.com - Manufacturing activity in the Chicago-area grew more than expected in April, easing concerns over the U.S. economic outlook, industry data showed on Thursday.
In a report, market research group Kingsbury International said its Chicago purchasing managers’ index improved by 6.0 points to a seasonally adjusted 52.3 this month from a reading of 46.3 in March. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 50.0 in April.
On the index, a reading above 50.0 indicates expansion, below indicates contraction.
The Barometer was supported by gains in four of its five components including a double digit gain in New Orders that reversed around two-thirds of February’s sharp drop.
Feedback from panellists was very mixed. Comments from service sector companies were more positive than manufacturers.
Disinflationary pressures intensified in April as Prices Paid contracted at a faster rate, hitting the lowest level since July 2009.
Commenting on the MNI Chicago Report, Philip Uglow, Chief Economist of MNI Indicators said, “The bounce back in activity at the start of Q2 is consistent with a resumption of normal activity following the poor weather and port strikes earlier in the year."
EUR/USD was trading at 1.1124 from around 1.1122 ahead of the release of the data, GBP/USD was at 1.5342 from 1.5344 earlier, while USD/JPY was at 119.55 from 119.60 earlier.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was at 95.48, compared to 95.45 ahead of the report.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock markets held on to losses. The Dow 30 shed 0.25%, the S&P 500 dipped 0.3%, while the Nasdaq Composite slumped 0.3%.
Elsewhere, in the commodities market, gold futures traded at $1,182.70 a troy ounce, compared to $1,184.30 ahead of the data, while crude oil traded at $58.61 a barrel from $58.45 earlier.
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