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Dollar gains on ISM non-manufacturing PMI

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The US dollar gained ground after data showed the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) non-manufacturing PMI was in-line with expectations, hitting 56.5 in March against expectations for 56.5.

This showed that the expansion in the US non-manufacturing sector continued last month. The jump in export orders helped the service companies.

The non-manufacturing ISM was down from 56.9 in February but despite the small drop in the PMI, “the majority of respondents’ comments reflect stability and are mostly positive about business conditions and the overall economy”, according to the ISM report.

The ISM index based on surveys of more than 400 non-manufacturing firms’ purchasing and supply executives, within 60 sectors across the US. By monitoring the ISM non-Manufacturing Index, investors are able to better understand national economic conditions.

The following are what some respondents of the survey mentioned:

• “Business remains strong this month.” (Health Care & Social Assistance)
• “Current business conditions are positive and the outlook for 2015 is on track this first quarter.” (Finance & Insurance)
• “Business slightly increasing year-over-year, but about the same as last month.” (Retail Trade)
• “Lower fuel prices improving overall profits, but do not appear to be lowering freight costs.” (Transportation & Warehousing)

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