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Shares to rise early on US economy data

Investors are likely to see slight gains early on the Australian share market after improving economic data helped Wall Street edge higher.

The Australian SPI 200 futures contract was higher by nine points, or 0.15 per cent, to 5,934.0 at 0800 AEST on Wednesday.

In the US, Wall Street’s three major indices closed higher after data showed the pace of contraction in the US manufacturing and services sectors slowed in June as businesses reopened after lockdowns that started in mid-March.

New home sales in the US jumped 16.6 per cent in May, blowing past estimates of a 2.9 per cent rise.

The mood may have been dampened a little by a New York Times report that European Union countries were prepared to block Americans from entering because the United States has failed to control the coronavirus pandemic.

In Australia, internet provider TPG will hold an extraordinary general meeting and ask shareholders to vote in favour of its proposed merger with Vodafone.

A merger would create a substantially stronger competitor to Telstra and Optus.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Tuesday up 9.9 points, or 0.17 per cent, to 5,954.4, while the broader All Ordinaries closed up 11.3 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 6,069.3.

The Australian dollar was buying 69.28 US cents at 0800 AEST, up from 69.09 US cents at the close of trade on Tuesday.

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