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Dollar holds at elevated levels as traders await new data for direction

The New Zealand dollar is little changed at elevated levels as traders await new data in the coming week to provide direction.

The Kiwi was at 87.75 US cents at 8am in Wellington, unchanged from the New York close and from 87.79 cents at 5pm on Friday in Wellington. The trade-weighted index was little changed at 81.50 from 81.52 on Friday.

New Zealand's trade-weighted currency index hit a record high on Friday and the kiwi touched a three-year high against the greenback as investors shunned the US dollar on concern that interest rates in the world's largest economy may stay low for an extended period, compared with New Zealand where the central bank is expected to continue to hike rates over the coming year following three rises already this year.

"Given that the TWI hit a post-float high, and the New Zealand dollar is higher across the board, it's been a good week and really it's a case of waiting for the next shove to push it to carry on this rise," said Peter Cavanaugh, client adviser at Bancorp Treasury Services. "The reasons that lifted the New Zealand dollar last week haven't gone away and once we step into the new quarter, they are probably more relevant, particularly this global hunt for yield."

Bancorp's Cavanaugh said some investors may be rejigging their portfolios at the end of the financial quarter, although this wasn't as notable for currencies as it was for other asset classes.

Today, traders will be eyeing data on building consents for May, scheduled for release at 10:45am, and the ANZ Business Outlook survey of June business sentiment at 1pm.

At 3pm, the Reserve Bank releases May data on lending to households secured by residential mortgages.

The New Zealand dollar was little changed at 93.15 Australian cents from 93.07 cents on Friday, and edged lower to 64.30 euro cents from 64.45 cents, to 51.49 British pence from 51.53 pence and to 89.02 yen from 89.07 yen.

(BusinessDesk)

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