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Kiwi tops US80c, then falls back

Thursday 21st April 2011

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The New Zealand dollar raced up last night to peak at a three-year high against the greenback above US80c, but then fell away during the early morning.

At 8am the kiwi was buying US79.50c, having climbed from US79.24c at 5pm yesterday to reach US80.08c shortly before 11pm before dropping back, according to Reuters data.

The NZ dollar is well up from the one-week low around US78.20c it fell to on Tuesday amid a bout of risk aversion caused by mounting fears about the future of Greece's massive debt and Standard & Poor's threat to cut the United State's blue chip AAA credit rating.

Overnight, the US dollar plummeted broadly against major and emerging market currencies as the prospect that United States interest rates would remain at record lows encouraged investors to seek higher returns elsewhere.

The euro hit a 15-month high above US$1.45, while rising commodity prices and inflation sent the Canadian and Australian dollars to multi-year peaks. Against major currencies, the greenback had its worst day in a month.

The NZ dollar fell to A74.44c at 8am from A74.86c at 5pm, was down to 0.5479 euro from 0.5506, and fell to 65.50 yen from 65.74. The trade weighted index fell to 68.53 at 8am from 68.72.

BNZ strategist Kymberly Martin said the NZ dollar had lost ground to the strong aussie which was buoyed by positive risk appetite and commodity prices.

ANZ said demand initially for the NZ dollar with larger bond issuance being announced had been surpassed overnight by positive news on the Australian dollar front.

Illiquid Easter currency markets could see the NZ dollar reluctantly break higher as US dollar weakness combined with Australian dollar strength.

There had been no speed limits on the NZ dollar so far, but it could be argued that levels around US80c were very tenuous at this stage, ANZ said.



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