The New Zealand dollar raced to a week-high, peaking around US68.65c early Saturday as global sentiment improved.

By 8am today the kiwi was buying US68.35c, from US67.17c at 5pm on Friday.

BNZ Capital senior strategist Danica Hampton said global sentiment improved on Friday night.

United States data surprised on the upside and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke had said the prospects for a return to growth in the near term appeared good for both the US and global economies.

Equity markets rebounded strongly and against the backdrop of firmer global equities and revived risk appetite, growth sensitive currencies such as the NZ dollar pushed higher against safe-haven currencies such as the greenback and yen, said Hampton.

As with the greenback, the NZ dollar lifted to its highest level in a week against the Japanese currency, getting to around 64.70 yen early Saturday, from 62.82 at Friday's local close. By the local open today the kiwi was at 64.44 yen.

The kiwi was little changed at 8am today against the Australian dollar, buying A81.81c, while edging up to 0.4769 euro from 0.4727 at 5pm on Friday.

The trade weighted index rose to 63.46 at 8am today from 62.67 at 5pm on Friday.

- NZPA