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Forex - Australian dollar gains in Asia in quiet data day

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Shutterstock photo - - The Australian dollar gained on Wednesday in Asia in a quiet data day with few immediate drivers for trade.

AUD/USD traded at 0.9313, up 0.08%, while USD/JPY changed hands at 104.10, up 0.04% and USD/CHF was flat at 0.9175.

Overnight, the dollar traded largely higher against most major currencies, bolstered by mixed but largely positive data, though profit taking trimmed the greenback's earlier gains.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported earlier that total durable goods orders, which include transportation items, surged by 22.6% last month, blowing past expectations for an increase of 7.5%.

Orders for durable goods in June were revised up to a 2.7% gain from a previously reported increase of 1.7%.

However, core durable goods orders, excluding volatile transportation items, contracted 0.8% in July, confounding forecasts for a 0.5% gain. Core durable goods orders rose by 3% in June.

Separately, the Conference Board reported that its widely-watched consumer confidence index rose to 92.4 for August, the highest since October 2007, from 90.3 in July, whose figure was revised down from a previously reported 90.9.

Analysts expected the index to decline to 89.0 in August.

Tuesday's mixed data gave the greenback broad support, as it depicted a strengthening U.S. economy, though profit taking sent the U.S. currency giving back gains, as the dollar had advanced in recent sessions on upbeat data and optimistic comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

Geopolitical tensions dampened demand for the dollar as well.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was set to meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko, later Tuesday amid growing tensions in the region.

On Monday, Ukraine said an armored column including 10 tanks entered from Russia as the government in Moscow unveiled plans to send a second convoy with humanitarian aid.

Elsewhere, investors tracked a lackluster report on U.S. home prices.

The S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas rose 8.1% year over year, shy of expectations for 8.4 percent.

The euro, meanwhile, saw demand from bottom fishers.

On Friday, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said monetary authorities stood "ready to adjust our policy stance further" and will use all necessary tools to "ensure price stability over the medium term."

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.01% at 82.70. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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