The New Zealand dollar rose as better US housing and durable goods data helped boost risk appetite and stocks on Wall Street, while at home Fonterra Cooperative Group lifted its forecast payout to farmers.
The kiwi dollar rose to 83.91 US cents from 83.45 cents at 5pm in Wellington yesterday. The trade-weighted index rose to 77.01 from 76.61.
Fonterra lifted its farmer payout forecast to $5.80 per kilogram of milk solids from $5.50, saying the increase reflected gains in global dairy commodities in the past two months, though with the drought hurting North Island milk production the company trimmed its forecast for milk volumes to be in line with last season.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.8 per cent after S&P/Case-Shiller data showed house prices in 20 cities climbed 8.1 per cent in January from a year earlier while the 5.7 per cent jump in durable goods orders last month, according to the Commerce Department.
"General risk sentiment looks positive," said Alex Sinton, senior dealer at ANZ New Zealand.
The kiwi gained to 65.26 euro cents from 64.82 cents. Sinton said the ramifications of the Cyprus bailout "will be in the market for a while yet, putting doubt in people's minds about the euro."
As well as Fonterra's results briefing today, traders are awaiting the ANZ survey of firms' own activity for March.
The New Zealand dollar rose to 79.92 Australian cents from 79.78 cents and gained to 79.22 yen from 78.69 yen. It rose to 55.33 British pence from 54.94 pence.