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Kiwi eases from TWI highs against pound

The New Zealand dollar fell from record highs on a trade-weighted basis and against the pound on speculation it may have run too hard after a string of strong economic figures.

The kiwi  traded at 54.40 British pence, little changed from late New York trading on Friday and down from a post-float high of 55.08 pence at the end of last week in Wellington. The trade-weighted index fell to 76.78 from 76.83 in New York and down from 77.46 in Wellington.

The currency was at 84.37 US cents from 84.46 cents in New York.

The kiwi extended a week of gains on Friday when figures showed retail sales grew 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter, beating forecasts and underlining the relative strength of the New Zealand economy.

It ran out of steam during European and US trading and weakened slightly against the yen today after the Group of 20 nations decided not to single Japan out over its weak currency.

"The kiwi went too far, too fast on Friday," says Tim Kelleher, head of institutional FX sales at ASB Institutional. "There was a bit of profit taking." With little economic data locally of note this week, the currency "may drift sideways".

It slipped to 81.88 Australian cents from 81.95 cents in New York on Friday and may fall with Australia's currency after an opinion poll showed declining support for Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The kiwi fell to 78.87 yen from 79 yen and was little changed at 63.19 euro cents.

(BusinessDesk)