The ISM manufacturing index inched higher to 35.6% in January from 32.9% in December. See story on ISM. "The improvement is not entirely surprising since many of the regional manufacturing reports also increased last month," said Kathy Lien, director of currency research at Global Forex Trading. "The manufacturing sector is still a long way from recovery which is why the impact on the U.S. dollar has been limited." The January figure marked the second-steepest monthly decline in activity in the survey's 11 1/2 year history, Markit said.