The Institute of Supply Management’s Manufacturing index for June collapsed to 49.7 from 53.5 in May, putting in the first and lowest reading of 2012, and the worst reading since July 2009, when the headline was 49.2. The report shows a dramatic and unexpected decline in manufacturing activity, which had been one of the pillars of the US recovery for the last few years. The reading below 50.0 signals that the manufacturing sector is now contracting.
Of note, the New Orders and Prices subcomponents of the report showed the most significant deterioration, signaling further weakness for the US economy in the periods ahead. The New Orders portion dropped from 60.1 to 47.8, while the Prices portion dropped from 47.5 to 37.0. Certainly, this represents a divergence from the recent Durable Goods Orders report, which while for different reporting periods (Orders for May, ISM for June), still suggests something is amiss.
USDJPY 1-minute Chart: July 2, 2012
Charts Created using Marketscope – Prepared by Christopher Vecchio
While the US Dollar gained across the board following the release, the Japanese Yen was indeed the top performer in the wake of the report, suggesting that traders were not only seeking safety, but also looking to diversify away from the US Dollar. In part, this could be due to the expectation that the Federal Reserve will need to embrace a more accommodative monetary policy in the near-future. The USDJPY fell from 79.76 to as low as 79.37, and was trading at 79.43, at the time this report was written. The AUDJPY dropped from 81.79 to as low as 81.14, while the EURJPY dropped from 100.50 to as low as 99.77 after the release.
--- Written by Christopher Vecchio, Currency Analyst
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