The New Zealand dollar rose against the greenback overnight , lifted by a post-Japan crisis rally on global equity markets and reinsurance flows into New Zealand after the Christchurch earthquake on February 22.

On Wall Street the Standard & Poor's 500 Index closed at 1,313.8, its highest level since before the quake and tsunami in Japan, following surprise hikes in corporate earnings and increased M&A activity.

Investors' risk appetite was bolstered further after Charles Plosser, president and chief executive of the US Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, pushed for an early exit from the Fed's second round of asset purchases, known as QE2.

The kiwi dollar also saw strong demand as some of the $6 billion in reinsurance payments from the February 22 earthquake in Christchurch began to flow into New Zealand.

"We're doing pretty fantastic, and one of the reasons for that are the reinsurance flows that have been happening," said Alex Sinton, a senior dealer at ANZ New Zealand. "Solid demand for the New Zealand dollar has the potential to see it back to levels last seen before the February 22 Christchurch earthquake."

The kiwi rose to 75.15 US cents from 75.09 cents in New York on Friday, and gained to 65.97 on the trade-weighted index of major trading partners' currencies from 65.66.

It fell to 73.34 Australian cents from 73.43 cents last week, and rose to 61.21 yen from 60.81 yen. It climbed to 53.44 euro cents from 52.92 cents on Friday, and rose to 46.91 pence from 45.58 pence previously.

The Australian dollar rose to its highest level since 1983 as risk appetite rose. The Chicago Options Exchange Board's Volatility Index, known as the VIX and treated as Wall Street's 'fear gauge', fell to 17.91 from 18.72 on Friday in New York, its lowest level since February 18.

Sinton said the kiwi may trade between 75.05 US cents and 75.75 cent today.