The New Zealand dollar rallied to a month high in New York trading on early signs that US consumer spending picked up on so-called Black Friday that follows the Thanksgiving Day holiday, helping stocks gain and lifting risk appetite.
The kiwi dollar traded at 82.28 US cents this morning from 82.40 cents in late New York trading on Friday and up from 81.63 cents in Wellington at the end of last week. The trade weighted index was at 73.65 from 73.68 in New York and up from 73.27 in late New Zealand trading on Friday.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 1.4 per cent on Friday for a 3.3 per cent weekly gain. Online retail sales in the US on Friday rose 26 per cent to US$1.04 billion, according to comScore. The National Retail Federation predicts sales during the holiday season increased 4.1 per cent this year, down from last year's 5.6 per cent growth.
"Early indications around retail spend in the US is that average spend is up," said Alex Sinton, senior dealer at ANZ New Zealand. "Equities are up on the back of that."
Helping set a positive tone for growth-linked currencies such as the kiwi, the Ifo institute's business climate index for Germany unexpectedly rose, climbing to 101.4 in November from 100 in October, the first increase in eight months.
Meantime there's optimism Greece's lenders will agree to the next tranche of funding for the debt-ridden nation.
The New Zealand dollar traded at 63.46 euro cents from 63.49 cents and traded little changed at 51.33 British pence. The kiwi fell to 78.65 Australian cents from 78.74 cents and traded at 67.75 yen from 67.85 yen.