The New Zealand dollar slipped to its lowest in more than three weeks as traders anticipate better US jobless numbers point to a good employment report tonight, boding well for the world's largest economy.
The kiwi touched 74.23 US cents, and was trading at 74.43 cents at 8am in Wellington, from 74.99 cents at 5pm yesterday.
The trade-weighted index fell to 77.01 from 77.28 yesterday.
US data overnight showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose a mere 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 for the week ended May 2, a better result than economists had expected.
That boosted optimism that a key employment report tonight will show the US added more jobs last month, paving the way for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.
"We would ascribe some of the overnight moves to an element of position squaring ahead of the all-important US employment report tonight," Bank of New Zealand currency strategist Raiko Shareef said in a note.
"The readings will be more important than usual, given it is one of only two ahead of the Fed's next policy decision in mid-June. If both readings are stellar, then the odds of a September rate hike will rise markedly," he said.
"Last night's weekly jobless claims numbers were encouraging, with the trend falling to a fresh 15-year low."
A Reuters survey of economists forecast US companies added 224,000 non-farm payrolls in April, while a Bloomberg survey of economists predicted a 230,000 gain.
That would be an improvement from the slower pace of 126,000 in March, which was less than half the previous month's increase.
In the local market today, the focus will be on the publication of the Reserve Bank of Australia's Statement on Monetary Policy at 1:30pm New Zealand time, which is expected to provide further detail on why the bank on Tuesday removed a reference to the need to reduce rates further, after it cut the benchmark to a record low 2 per cent.
"Investors are wary that the RBA, unhappy about the AUD's bounce after Tuesday's policy decision, may choose to highlight that the door remains open to further rate cuts," said the BNZ's Shareef.
The New Zealand dollar advanced to 94.14 Australian cents from 93.96 cents yesterday.
The local currency fell to 48.76 British pence from 49.20 pence yesterday as traders await the outcome of the UK general election today, where the result is expected to be close.
The kiwi was little changed at 66.04 euro cents from 66.09 cents yesterday and slipped to 89.14 yen from 89.58 yen.