The New Zealand dollar held just under 69 US cents overnight as key US employment data failed to change investor views on the outlook for interest rates in the world's largest economy.

The kiwi was at 68.88 US cents at 8am in Wellington, from 68.98 cents at the New York close and 68.96 cents on Friday. The trade-weighted index edged lower to 72.74 from 72.86 on Friday.

Economic data released in the US on Friday showed the country added 215,000 non-farm payrolls last month, while the unemployment rate rose to 5 percent from an eight-year low of 4.9 percent as more people began looking for work, and wages rose.

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The report, which is closely watched by the Federal Reserve, reinforced investor views that chair Janet Yellen will continue to proceed with caution when mulling future interest rate hikes, keeping currency rates relatively unchanged.


"That was not enough to stir the market, with the data showing another 'goldilocks'-like report, and broadly in line with expectations - healthy employment growth, but modest wage inflation," Bank of New Zealand currency strategist Jason Wong said in a note. "The data served to impress the market with Yellen's observations that there was probably more slack in the labour market than the headline unemployment rate suggested and the Fed's 'proceed with caution' approach to rate hikes was likely to remain."

BNZ's Wong said the kiwi remains near the top of its trading range and is overbought on the bank's short-term model, which puts fair value closer to 65 US cents.

The local currency slipped to 89.78 Australian cents from 90.13 cents on Friday. Australia publishes February retail sales and building approvals data today.

The kiwi slid to 60.44 euro cents from 60.60 cents on Friday, and declined to 76.89 yen from 77.43 yen. It advanced to 48.39 British pence from 48.10 pence on Friday, and increased to 4.4618 yuan from 4.4581 yuan. Chinese markets will be closed today in recognition of the Qingming Festival.