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SYDNEY: The Australian and New Zealand dollars struggled on Tuesday as soft surveys on factory and services activity seemed to augur ill for global growth and the demand for commodities.

The raft of early data for July showed US business activity slowed to a five-month low, while European manufacturing disappointed with a particularly weak reading in Germany.

That left the Aussie pinned at $0.6733, after touching an eight-session trough of $0.6715 overnight.

The kiwi dollar idled at $0.6199, having been as low as $0.6158 overnight following seven sessions of losses.

Not helping was a lack of major stimulus from China’s Politburo meeting, which merely promised to step up economic policy adjustments, focusing on expanding domestic demand, boosting confidence and preventing risks.

“While an increase in the annual special bond issuance quota was not mentioned in the read out, it remains on the table in our view,” wrote analysts at CBA.

Australia, NZ dollars nurse losses, market narrows odds on higher rates

“But until there are clear signs of a material step up in commodity intensive infrastructure investment, AUD/USD is likely to keep trending lower towards year-end because of the deteriorating global economic outlook.”

Investors are waiting anxiously for local data on inflation due Wednesday, where a high result could trigger a further rise in interest rates next month.

Median forecasts are for annual consumer prices to rise 6.2% in the second quarter, down from 7.0%, while core inflation is seen slowing to 6.0% from 6.6%.

The latter would still be far above the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) 2-3% target band and policymakers could yet decide to take out extra insurance on bringing it down by lifting rates at their Aug. 1 meeting.

Markets imply around a 50-50 chance of a quarter-point hike to 4.35%, and have a peak at 4.42% to account for the chance of a second increase.

Also important will be any signals from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank this week on whether they are near, or actually done, tightening, which would tend to lessen pressure on other central banks to keep raising rates.

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