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U.S. factory orders grow above expectations in December

Factory orders in the U.S. rose strongly on a sequential basis in December, coming in slightly above consensus expectations. Orders were up 1.7 percent, as compared with expectations of 1.5 percent. Following the preliminary durable goods order report that showed a strong rise in orders, a strong data for December was expected. Stripping transportation, factory orders were up 0.7 percent sequentially. Durable goods order data for December was downwardly revised to 2.8 percent sequentially, while capital goods orders and shipments were downwardly revised by three-tenths and two-tenths, respectively.

Overall, the report was solid at the headline level; however, details showed softness in the core categories. Most of the jump in factory orders was driven by defense durable goods orders, which is a volatile category. With respect to the impact on the GDP tracker, softness in core capital goods orders and shipments suggests slightly lower equipment investment than the BEA recorded in its advance estimate of the fourth quarter GDP.

Moreover, non-durable goods inventories were softer than anticipated and suggest lower inventory accumulation, noted Barclays in a research report.

At 18:00 GMT the FxWirePro's Hourly Strength Index of US Dollar was neutral at -26.097. For more details on FxWirePro's Currency Strength Index, visit http://www.fxwirepro.com/currencyindex

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