Release Explanation: Similar to the PMI numbers, it surveys Purchase Managers on their sentiment on orders, hiring, inventories, and deliveries. A number above 50 indicates expansion in the sector while a number below indicates contraction. Split into the Manufacturing Index (above), and then Manufacturing Prices which look at the rate of Inflation when materials and services are purchased. Builds an economic picture of the strength of manufacturing activity ahead of official Government reports. These numbers usually are a pre-cursor to the PMI numbers later in the month. A currency can be very reactive to these numbers as over time they have been a reliable read on Government reports to come.

Trade Desk Thoughts: The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said today that their manufacturing index for March was 36.3, better than the 35.8 economists had expected to see.

The headline index has remained in the mid-thirties for three straight months, said Matthew Carniol, chief currency strategist at It looks as if the rapid decline in manufacturing has moderated to a degree, which is encouraging.

The New Orders Index rose to 41.2, the first time in seven months it's been above 40. The Employment Index rose to 28.1, and is contracting at a slower rate. The Price Index rose to 31.0, evidence that the slide in prices is decreasing. The Exports Index was 39.0, an increase of 1.5 points, while the Imports Index gained 1 point to 33.0.

Forex Technical Reaction: Stocks jumped on the news and the dollar weakened against the euro, pound and aussie while it gained on the yen.