The March Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI reading was an 8 month high, as growth of production and new orders accelerated. The seasonally adjusted reading increased from February’s 54.0 to 54.4, matching analysts’ estimates. The report from Markit highlighted that the input costs and selling prices had both, which is to be expected with zero inflation, and oil prices significantly.
The 54.4 figure is well above the 50.0, which signifies expansion, carrying on from yesterday's GDP estimate of +2.8% in 2014. The data will be a possitive for the Conservative campaign in the run up to the UK general election.
With the Euro weakening significantly since the summer 2014, there had been concern that exporting to the Eurozone could slow due to goods being seen as more expensive.
GBPUSD / EURGBP
Following the PMI data, sterling weakened vs the greenback trading around 40 pips lower to 1.47713, though it seems to be led by USD strength. EURGBP was bid following the release trading around 25 pips higher at 0.7257.
The Markit reading for Eurozone Manufacturing PMI released at 9:00am and the reading was a 10-month high in Germany, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. The Final Eurozone Manufacturing PMI for March came in at 52.2 vs 51.0 in February.
Countries ranked by Manufacturing PMI:
Ireland 56.8 2-month low
Spain 54.3 2-month high
Italy 53.3 11-month high
Germany 52.8 (flash 52.4) 11-month high
Netherlands 52.5 2-month high
Greece 48.9 3-month high
France 48.8 (flash 48.2) 2-month high
Austria 47.7 4-month low