9 Apr 2014

Dollar hits fresh high against US

6:37 pm on 9 April 2014

The New Zealand dollar has hit a fresh two-and-a-half year high against the US dollar, reaching 87.08 US cents.

Bank of New Zealand currency strategist Raiko Shareef said the Kiwi was riding on the coat-tails of the Australian dollar after strong data across the Tasman.

"One of the things that's driven it over our day has been a much stronger than expected out-turn in Australian home loans, which rose 2.3 percent month-on-month against expectations of 1.5 (percent)," Mr Shareef said.

"That helped push the Australian dollar up a bit more and, obviously, pushed the New Zealand dollar with it."

The moves had not been large against the Australian dollar, despite it being Australian data which provoked the move higher, he said.

"I guess that speaks to the fact that it is still a general trend of selling against the US dollar as opposed to much on the Kiwi-Aussie cross."

Just after 5pm, the New Zealand dollar was buying: 87.01 US cents, 92.82 Australian cents, 51.95 pence, 0.6308 euro, 88.78 yen and 5.39 renminbi.

Shares up

The New Zealand stock market retraced some of the losses recorded on Tuesday.

The benchmark top 50 index closed up 36 points at 5067.

Murray & Co wealth management director Johnny Cochrane said the local market took its lead from offshore.

"In terms of performers today in the market, Restaurant Brands is probably the most noteworthy. They came out with a bottom-line result at $18.9 million - just a bit better than what the market was expecting and, more importantly, they had some relatively strong outlook statements for profit to exceed $20 million next year.

"That's probably a bit more than what the market was expecting."

Shares in Restaurant Brands rose 13 cents to $2.98 after the company reported a 23.5 percent rise in annual net profit.

The fast food company recorded a net profit of $20 million dollars for the 52 weeks ended February.

Xero shares rebounded 60 cents to $32.10 after falling 11 percent on Tuesday.