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    Aussie holds early gains, yen up after capital spending gains

    The Aussie ticked higher on Wednesday as did the yen ahead of a busy regional data day to kick-off June with China manufacturing in sharp focus.

    AUD/USD traded at 0.7236, up 0.03%, while USD/JPY changed hands at 110.55, down 0.14%.

    Australia reported the AIG manufacturing index eased to 51 in May from 53.4 the previous month.

    Australia also reports first quarter GDP with a 2.8% rise seen year-on-year and a 0.8% pace quarter-on-quarter.

    Japan reported first quarter capital spending jumped 4.2%, compared with with a 1.9% gain seen year-on-year. Later, Japan reports the manufacturing PMI for May with 47.6 seen, flat from the previous month.

    In China the semi-official manufacturing PMI is due for May with 50 expected, down from 50.1. The non-manufacturing PMI is due for May as well with a level of 50.0 last month.The Caixin manufacturing PMI follows with a level of 49.3 expected, down from the previous 49.4.

    The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.03% to 95.80.

    Overnight, the dollar slipped lower against the other major currencies on Tuesday, pulling away from a two-month peak after downbeat U.S. consumer confidence and manufacturing data overshadowed more positive reports released earlier in the day.

    The Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence fell to 92.6 this month from a reading of 94.7 in April, whose figure was revised from a previously reported 94.2. Analysts had expected the index to increase to 96.0 in May.

    The data came after market research group Kingsbury International said its Chicago purchasing managers’ index declined to a three-month low of 49.3 this month from a reading of 50.4 in April. Analysts had expected the index to rise to 50.9 in May.

    Earlier Tuesday, the U.S. Commerce Department said that personal spending climbed by 1.0% last month, above expectations for a gain of 0.7%. Personal spending for March rose 0.1%.

    Personal income, meanwhile, rose by 0.4%, in line with forecasts and after rising 0.4% a month earlier.

    The dollar had strengthened broadly after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday that it would be appropriate for the central bank to raise rates “gradually and cautiously” in the coming months if the economy and the labor market continue to pick up as expected.

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