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Kiwi revisits post-quake high against greenback

Wednesday 30th March 2011

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The New Zealand dollar revisited a five-week peak today, while the Australian dollar hit a new 29-year peak, supported by improving risk appetites among investors.

The NZ dollar was at US75.78c at 5pm, little changed from US75.73c at 8am but up from US75.07c at 5pm yesterday.

It had drifted off during the day but returned to around US75.75c at the close, the same level it reached this morning and early on Saturday. These are levels not seen since the Christchurch earthquake on February 22, when the NZ dollar plunged from US76.40c to US75c in a few hours.

"We drifted off a bit today but held most of the gains from overnight," a dealer said. "It really just settled into a range.

"The aussie tried to hold US$1.03 today and the euro danced on the spot," he said.

The Australian dollar jumped to $US1.0318 and eased back to $1.03.

BNZ currency strategist Mike Jones said the NZ dollar had thumbed its nose at a broad strengthening of the US currency.

Along with other growth-linked currencies, the NZ dollar had found support from further recovery in investors' risk appetite, as the lack of any fresh bad news from the Middle East or Japan saw US stock markets post modest gains.

Against the Japanese currency, the NZ dollar surged to 62.91 yen, its highest since mid-February.

The NZ dollar was at 0.5378 euro at 5pm, which was little changed from 0.5379 euro shortly before 7am, its highest level in nearly four weeks. It was 0.5331 euro at 5pm yesterday.

It eased to A73.49c from A73.60c at 8am but was above A73.31c at 5pm yesterday.

The trade weighted index rose to 66.56 from 65.86 yesterday.



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