Investing.com - U.S. manufacturing activity expanded at a slower rate than expected in March, fuelling concerns over the strength of the economy, preliminary data showed on Monday.
In a report, market research group Markit said that its preliminary U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to a seasonally adjusted 55.5 this month from a final reading of 57.1 in February. Analysts had expected the index to dip to 56.5 in March.
On the index, a reading above 50.0 indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction.
Commenting on the report, Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at Markit said that “The survey is broadly consistent with manufacturing output rising at an annualized rate of approximately 4% in the first quarter and job creation in the sector running at around 10-15,000 per month.”
Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar held on to gains against the euro, with EUR/USD shedding 0.09% to trade at 1.3782.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock markets were mixed after the open. The Dow Jones Composite rose 0.2%, the S&P 500 was flat, while the Nasdaq 100 shed 0.5%.
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