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AUD slightly stronger ahead of RBA rate review

The Aussie held slightly stronger ahead of the RBAlatest interest rate review. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last quoted up 0.08% at 98.98. AUD/JPY last changed hands at 84.34, up 0.22%, while AUD/USD traded at 0.7529. up 0.04%.

At 23:30 GMT-7, the Reserve Bank of Australia will release its latest monetary policy review with most analysts expecting it to hold steady at a record low 1.5%.

Overnight, gold prices declined nearly 1% while the U.S. dollar traded higher against a basket of major currencies on Monday as bearish economic data failed to offset news that U.S. congressional leaders reached an agreement to keep the government afloat.

The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said its index of national factory activity dropped to a reading of 54.8 last month, the weakest reading since December, from 57.2 in March. In a separate report, the Commerce Department said U.S. construction spending slipped 0.2 percent for the month of March. Analysts' had forecast a slower decline to 0.4% from 1.8% a month earlier. Elsewhere, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Monday, that it will probably take two years for the U.S. economy to achieve 3% growth, and highlighted the Trump administration’s tax reform and regulatory relief plans as key catalysts to induce economic growth.

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