The New Zealand dollar touched its highest level in a week amid a lift in commodity prices and a weaker US dollar.

The kiwi hit 68.78 US cents and was trading at 68.58 cents at 8am in Wellington, from 68.17 cents at 5pm yesterday. The trade-weighted index advanced to 72.31 from 71.99 yesterday.

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Currencies linked to commodities advanced after an increase in the CRB Index, which measures a basket of global commodities, paced by gains in precious and industrial metals, gasoline and oil.

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against other key currencies, fell as investors pull back their expectations for US interest rate hikes this year following comments from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen that the bank will proceed cautiously and gradually with an eye to global risks.


"The US dollar has weakened further overnight," Bank of New Zealand senior market strategist Kymberly Martin said in a note. "Commodities have generally been a bit stronger, with the WTI oil price contributing a 1 percent gain. This has helped support 'commodity-linked' currencies such as the Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars."

In New Zealand today, the Real Estate Institute is scheduled to release its monthly house sales data for March, and Statistics New Zealand publishes February accommodation data.
In Australia, March business and consumer confidence surveys are due to be released, while Germany and the UK publish March inflation data.

The New Zealand dollar advanced to 90.27 Australian cents from 90.09 cents yesterday, increased to 60.12 euro cents from 59.73 cents, rose to 4.4289 yuan from 4.4065 yuan, and gained to 73.98 yen from 73.50 yen. It was little changed at 48.17 British pence from 48.20 pence