FOREX-Dollar subdued, Aussie dlr cheers China data
* Major currencies off to quiet start
* Aussie climbs after China data
* China official PMI beat expectations
By Ian Chua
SYDNEY, June 3 (Reuters) - Most major currencies got off to a subdued start on Monday, but the Australian dollar rose after data over the weekend showed factory activity in China was better than expected, offering hope the world's second-largest economy may be stabilising.
The Aussie climbed as high as $0.9640 in thin early trade, from around $0.9575 late in New York on Friday. It was last at $0.9607. Support is seen at $0.9528, a 19-month trough plumbed last month.
The move came after China's official PMI data, out on Saturday, rose to 50.8 in May from 50.6 in April, beating market expectations. China is Australia's single biggest export market.
"The AUD opened higher this morning on the good news, and remains the outperformer so far," said Annette Beacher, head of Asia-Pacific Research at TDSecurities.
The dollar index, meanwhile, slipped 0.1 percent to 83.297. The euro was flat at $1.2993.
Against the yen, both the dollar and euro were 0.1 percent higher at 100.54 and 130.64 respectively.
China's services PMI and HSBC's final survey that focuses on smaller private sector firms are due later in the morning.
Also in focus this week is manufacturing data out in Europe and the United States as well as the all-important U.S. employment report on Friday.
Investors have warmed to the U.S. dollar since the previous non-farm payrolls surprised on the upside, spurring talk the Federal Reserve might start unwinding its massive stimulus programme sooner rather than later.
Figures on Friday showed currency speculators have raised their bets in favour of the greenback to the highest since at least June 2008 in the week ended May 28.
Analysts at BNP Paribas said they were expecting another upbeat U.S. employment report on Friday.
"While data in line with our estimates would not in itself warrant an early Fed move to taper asset purchases, it would still leave risks skewed in favour of less, rather than more, Fed accommodation and would probably be sufficiently robust to maintain the overall bullish market consensus with respect to the USD," they wrote in a client note.
"We see scope for USD to regain momentum versus the CHF and JPY coming out of this week, although we are more neutral on the USD vs. the EUR and commodity bloc currencies."