The New Zealand dollar fell below 71 US cents after stronger-than-expected private payrolls and consumer spending data in the US and a surge in the price of crude oil added to expectations US inflation will accelerate, driving up interest rates.
The kiwi dollar fell to 70.86 US cents as at 8am in Wellington from 71.44 cents late yesterday. The trade-weighted index slipped to 78.13 from 78.48.
Crude oil jumped almost 9 per cent after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) agreed to its first supply cuts in eight years, while the ADP National Employment Report showed private payrolls rose by 216,000 last month compared with forecasts for 165,000 jobs, and the US Commerce Department said consumer spending rose 0.3 per cent in October and was revised higher for October.
Those events combined to drive the US dollar index to a week-high on expectations the data adds to the case for a Federal Reserve rate hike this month.
"The USD has surged, likely assisted by some stronger than expected US data releases and higher yields," said Kymberly Martin, senior market strategist at Bank of New Zealand.
"The market continues to inch higher its expectations for Fed hikes."
The strong ADP report boosted speculation for a robust number in the official non-farm payrolls figures out in the US on Friday, which is expected to show the world's biggest economy added 175,000 jobs last month.
Ahead of that, New Zealand figures are expected to be released today showing terms of trade for the third quarter.
The kiwi fell to 56.64 British pence from 57.24 pence late yesterday. It gained to 95.75 Australian cents from 95.56 cents, rose to 80.89 yen from 80.38 yen and fell to 4.8737 yuan from 4.9169 yuan. The local currency declined to 66.81 euro cents from 67.21 cents.