The New Zealand dollar rose above 74 US cents ahead of today's fourth-quarter gross domestic product report, which will show whether the economy skirted recession.

The kiwi climbed against the euro amid concern Portugal's government could collapse before it can pass austerity measures.

The New Zealand economy expanded 0.2 per cent in the final three months of 2010, according to a Reuters survey, and faces headwinds this year from the Christchurch earthquake. Within the range, some economists are predicting a contraction.

The euro fell 0.5 per cent to US$1.41, or just under a cent, amid reports that Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates could face a vote in parliament against his deficit reduction policies, a move that if successful could see the country head back to the polls and in need of another bailout.

Sovereign debt concerns flared further when European leaders said they may look to delay a decision on bolstering the European Financial Stability Fund.

"Portugal drove the euro lower ahead of the EU summit," said Alex Sinton, a senior dealer at ANZ New Zealand.

"The GDP figures will be largely viewed as a lagging indicator, with the market more concerned about the impact of the February quake in Christchurch, and any dip in the currency would be seen as a buying opportunity, he said.

The kiwi rose to 74.15 US cents from 73.97 cents yesterday, and gained to 65.01 on the trade-weighted index of major trading partners' currencies from 64.82. It fell to 73.11 Australian cents from 73.28 cents yesterday, and rose to 59.92 yen from 59.86 yen.

It climbed to 52.49 euro cents from 52.21 cents yesterday, and rose to 45.67 pence from 45.19 pence previously.

Statistics New Zealand is set to release fourth quarter gross domestic product numbers today, with the September earthquake in Canterbury and a sluggish economy expected to weigh on growth figures.

The market is expecting New Zealand's economy to have grown by 0.2 per cent in the three months ending December 31 compared to the previous period, according to a Reuters' poll.

Sinton said the kiwi dollar may trade between a range of 73.79 US cents and 74.41 cents today.