The New Zealand dollar drifted lower today after pushing briefly above US72c for the first time in two months.

Dealers said it pushed higher in reaction to a strong start to the corporate earnings season in the United States and firm equity markets. It drifted lower as both the Australian dollar and the euro weakened in this time zone.

The NZ dollar was at US71.64c at 5pm from US71.84c at 8am, having peaked around US72.05c earlier in the morning. It was US71.17c at 5pm yesterday.

BNZ currency strategist Mike Jones said the fate of the NZ dollar continued to follow risk sentiment and global equity markets.

Both retail sales data for May and Real Estate Institute of New Zealand data for June suggested that domestic demand is subdued, suggesting the Reserve Bank of New Zealand will move monetary policy back to more normal settings at a glacial pace, economists said.

The NZ dollar did spike overnight above 0.5670 euro, its highest level in two weeks, but by 5pm today was at 0.5636, similar to its level at 5pm yesterday.

The NZ dollar was around a two-week high against the Japanese currency at 63.73 yen at 5pm from 63.02 yen at the same time yesterday.

Against the Australian dollar, the NZ dollar lifted to A81.30c from A81.50c at 5pm yesterday.

The trade weighted index rose to 67.86 at 5pm from 67.71 yesterday.

- NZPA