The New Zealand dollar gained after exports to China, the country's second-biggest trading partner, rose at the fastest pace in three months in September, easing concerns that the global economy is heading for another worldwide slowdown.
The New Zealand dollar rose as high as 81.88 US cents and traded at 81.75 cents just after 8am, up from 81.60 cents at the close of trading in New York on Friday. The kiwi rose to 64.12 yen from 64.02 yen last week, and the trade weighted index increased to 72.96 from 72.83.
Overseas shipments to China, the world's second largest economy, increased 9.9 per cent compared to a year earlier, according to official figures. That's more than the 5.5 per cent predicted in a Bloomberg survey.
Imports increased 2.7 per cent, creating a US$27.7 billion trade surplus, the biggest since June. The upbeat Chinese trade figures underpinned investor optimism, and helped push up risk-sensitive assets, such as the kiwi dollar.
"Markets were cautious about the Chinese trade data and that data was better than expected," said Stuart Ive, currency strategist at HiFX.
"That's why the New Zealand dollar is higher this morning."
The kiwi is likely to finish the week higher trading in a range of between 81.50 US cents to 82.10 cents this week, Ive said.
Investors will be looking to China's gross domestic product and industrial production numbers due for release on Thursday. China's economy probably grew 7.4 per cent last quarter, according to a Bloomberg survey, the slowest pace in three years.
The New Zealand dollar was little changed at 63.09 euro cents from 63.04 cents last week after the International Monetary Fund cut its growth forecasts and said Greece should get more time to meet fiscal targets for its regional lifeline. European Union leaders will meet for a two day conference on Thursday.
There is no significant New Zealand data set for release until tomorrow when the third-quarter consumer price index by Statistics New Zealand.
The New Zealand dollar was little changed at 50.83 British pence from 50.78 pence on Friday, and slipped to 79.66 Australian cents from 79.77 cents.