Kiwi dollar struggles against strong US
9:18 AM Thursday Feb 18, 2010

The New Zealand dollar lost a bit of puff against its US counterpart overnight as building statistics in America gave the greenback an unexpected tailwind.

The kiwi was worth US70.45c at 5pm yesterday. It traded as high as US70.79c overnight before slipping to US70.38c at 8am today.

BNZ market strategist Mike Jones said a broad strengthening in the US dollar overnight "knocked some of the wind out of NZD/USD's sails".

Upbeat US data reinforced the idea the US economy was gradually strengthening, in contrast to the recent stalling in the Eurozone economies - sending the euro plunging over 1.5 cents to nearly 1.3600 as investor focus returned to the region's fiscal woes.

In contrast, growth-sensitive currencies like New Zealand and Australia were relatively insulated from the firming US dollar last night, he said.

Ongoing interest to sell the euro against the currencies also helped prop up the antipodean currencies and the kiwi/euro surged a bit over 1 per cent last night to flirt with 23 month highs around 0.5180, and this ensured losses in NZD/USD were limited to around US70.30c, Mr Jones said.

More here.