Record-breaking kiwi climbs higher
The New Zealand dollar has continued its recent rally, extending its three-year high against the greenback to almost US88 cents.
It rose to US87.94c just before 11am, pushing the trade-weighted index to a new record high of 81.71 before the Kiwi slipped back to about US87.7c in afternoon trading.
The New Zealand dollar hit a three-year high against the United States dollar at US87.83 cents overnight.
The rise sent New Zealand's trade-weighted index to a record high.
The TWI, which measures the dollar against a basket of currencies, peaked at 81.67 this morning, a post-float high.
The US87.83c high against the greenback is the highest since August 2011, when it set the post-float high of US88.4c.
Tim Kelleher, head of institutional foreign exchange sales at ASB, said the TWI record was significant as the Reserve Bank paid a lot of attention to that index, rather than just looking at the exchange rate with the US.
"If the currency is too high, they could hold rates."
He said the kiwi's recent momentum had been helped by revised figures showing the US economy performing worse than expected, raising the prospect of the Federal Reserve delaying interest rate increases.
The US economy contracted by 2.9 per cent in the first quarter, a slump pinned mostly on bad weather.
"That's been revised down from 0.1 per cent to -1.7 per cent to -2.9 per cent," Kelleher said.
"They've had three cracks at it and the markets are going 'it's even worse than we initially thought'."
The dollar hit a one-year high against the euro, rising to €64.58c.
Kelleher said the kiwi was well within reach of its post-float high against the US dollar.
"Definitely; it's only three-quarters of a cent away," he said.
"If there's some more patchy US data, it might jump pretty quick."