The New Zealand dollar rose above 74USc today as the Australian dollar soared on strong economic data and the US dollar weakened on poor economic data.
The NZ dollar was buying 74.02USc by 5pm from 73.72USc at 8am and 73.11USc at 5pm on Friday.
It remained below the 74.29USc level seen last week. The Australian dollar rose to 93.14USc at 5pm from 91.53USc at the same time on Friday.
The Australian dollar was buoyed by advertising data indicating a strong job market and by Chinese trade data, which showed a jump in imports in iron ore in December.
While the US dollar continued to suffer the after effects of disappointing payrolls data on Friday. The Asian market was reduced by a holiday in Tokyo.
The US dollar suffered its biggest loss against a basket of six currencies in a month-and-a-half after data on Friday showed US employers cut 85,000 jobs last month.
Westpac said the key economic report this week was the quarterly survey of business opinion by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER) due tomorrow.
Following a break of resistance at US73c on January 5, a push higher above US76.30c by the NZ dollar was now possible, Westpac said.
Mike Jones of BNZ Capital said the NZ dollar had made a strong start to 2010, with a combination of firming risk appetite and a generally weaker US dollar.
If risk appetite remained buoyant and optimism about 2010 continued, he expected a push higher in coming sessions towards the 74.50-75USc range.
Against the European currency, the NZ dollar eased to €0.5097 from €0.5107 on Friday. The NZ dollar was at ¥68.28 at 5pm from ¥68.18 at 5pm on Friday.
It slipped against the strong Australian dollar to 79.45Ac by 5pm from 79.85Ac on Friday.
The trade weighted index was up to 66.86 from 66.70.