11 Apr 2013

NZ dollar continues to climb

6:52 pm on 11 April 2013

The New Zealand dollar climbed to a 20-month high against the US currency on Thursday.

The kiwi was trading at about US 85.90 cents at 1pm on Thursday, up from US85.24 cents on Wednesday.

The rise is being driven by global stimulus measures including the latest round from Japan which has resulted in a flood of money from central banks.

HiFX currency strategist Stuart Ive told AAP the money is getting fed into equities and yielding currencies. "The kiwi, unfortunately, is going to have to take it on the chin."

On Monday, the Bank of Japan launched the latest round of its stimulus programme to spur economic growth. It said it would double the supply of the currency in the market.

Derek Rankin from Rankin Treasury Advisory said it may not be long until the New Zealand dollar reaches the post-float high of US88.5 cents it hit in August 2011.

Mr Rankin says money is able to be borrowed cheaply and the New Zealand currency is an attractive investment due to this country's relatively higher interest rate and strong economy.

"That money is leaving Japan, it's coming down to Australia, it's coming down to New Zealand and it's looking for our interest rates here, and that's driving up the exchange rate."

The Bank of Japan's move weakens the yen which helps Japanese exporters keep their products competitive, as well as boosting profits earned overseas.

In the United States, Wall Street hit record highs on Wednesday after minutes of a Federal Reserve meeting suggested aggressive stimulus measures would be in place until the jobs market improved.

The broad-based S&P 500 surged 1.2% to a record 1,587.73.