The New Zealand dollar rose as oil prices gained from a 12-year low and Chinese stocks gained in afternoon trading, easing investors' fears about the world's second-biggest economy and its impact on commodity producing nations.

The kiwi increased to 65.64 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 65.36 cents at 8am and little changed from 65.60 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index was little changed at 72.30 from 72.27 yesterday.

Kiwi dollar undervalued, according to burgernomics
Markets dip as oil prices plunge

West Texas Crude oil prices bounced from a 12-year low US$29.93 a barrel in local trading today, soothing investors' nerves about commodity-linked currencies such as the kiwi and Australian dollars.


Meantime, the Shanghai Composite index slipped 0.1 percent in afternoon trading and better than expected Chinese trade figures allayed concerns about Australasia's biggest trading partner. The People's Bank of China again left the mid-point of the yuan's trading band little changed when it fixed the rate.

"The pop up in the crude oil price and what appears to be the plateau in China with the yuan and the composite index both behaving themselves to a degree has added confidence in the market," said Stuart Ive, senior dealer foreign exchange at OMF in Wellington.

"Hence, why the kiwi and the Aussie have popped a little bit."

OMF's Ive said the kiwi could be in for a relief rally having dropped 3 US cents since Christmas, though it will probably need more local data to support such a move.

Data today showed New Zealand property values slowed their annual ascent in December, rising 14 percent in 2014. Regulatory curbs imposed in October and November were starting to bite into gains in Auckland, where the market has been buoyed by a shortage of supply and strong inbound migration fuelling demand.

Traders will be watching International Energy Agency figures on global oil supplies for a steer on commodity prices after the slump in oil prices, which will also have a bearing on central banks as they assess their own inflation tracks.

New Zealand's two-year swap rate was unchanged at 2.74 percent and 10-year swaps were unchanged at 3.56 percent.

The kiwi fell to 93.35 Australian cents from 93.88 cents ahead of employment figures across the Tasman tomorrow.

The local currency slipped to 4.3187 Chinese yuan from 4.3129 yuan yesterday, and gained to 77.61 yen from 77.08 yen. It gained to 60.64 euro cents from 60.28 cents yesterday, and increased to 45.39 British pence from 45.15 pence.