The New Zealand dollar dipped today but found support at lower levels from where it rallied, though dealers said the focus is on looming US non-farm payrolls data.

The NZ dollar was at US76.13c at 5pm, down from US76.32c at 8am but up from US75.82c at 5pm yesterday. It traded as low as US75.81c today and it rose to a six week high of US76.48c on Thursday night.

"Basically we had a big sell off this morning but because non-farm payrolls data is coming out tonight the market is not willing to trust itself one way or another. So we got to the bottom end of a range and bounced off that level," Stuart Ive, senior trader at HiFX, said.

The US data would provide the market with direction, he said.

Investors had noted Chinese data today.

China's official purchasing managers' index rose to 53.4 in March from a six-month low, while factory inflation eased, the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said. The reading indicates China's economy is resilient.

ANZ said all eyes were on the US non-farm payrolls report tonight. Expectations continue to centre on 190,000 jobs being added.

"Why so much focus on US non-farm payrolls? It is because this data is critical for near-term direction in the bond market, with knock-on effects here," ANZ said.

US Treasury bond yields have risen steadily since mid-March, but have stabilised this week. If payrolls are strong the debate about ending easy monetary policy will start again and the US yield curve will be steeper.

The NZ dollar was little changed at A73.56c at 5pm from A73.64c at 8am from A73.48c at 5pm yesterday, and was 63.74 yen from 62.65 yesterday.

The trade weighted index was at 66.79 at 5pm from 66.47 at the same time yesterday.

- NZPA