$A lower ahead of Chinese data

The Australian dollar is slightly lower, weighed down by the greenback's strength and caution about the upcoming release of some Chinese manufacturing data.

At 0700 AEST on Tuesday, the local unit was trading at 102.75 US cents, down from 102.83 cents on Monday.

Early on Tuesday morning, the Australian dollar fell as low as 102.35 US cents, its weakest level since March 11.

BK Asset Management managing director Kathy Lien said there was a lot of interest in the HSBC manufacturing survey for April, especially after last week's disappointing industrial production figures.

The manufacturing numbers are due out on Tuesday afternoon, Australian time.

"There is a bit of pressure on the Australian dollar overall, partially due to the dollar-yen but also due to some of the concerns about the Chinese manufacturing numbers," Ms Lien said from New York.

"It has the potential for some additional weakness in economic data and, in turn, weakness in the Australian dollar."

Australian inflation figures for the March quarter, to be released on Wednesday, are usually important figures, she added.

"Traders will take it with a grain of salt because in the first quarter we did see an increase in commodity prices but since then we've seen a huge plunge," she said.

"So, even if we see an uptick in prices in the quarter that may not be something that ends up lasting."

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