The New Zealand dollar fell amid broad US dollar strength ahead of American inflation figures, with soft economic data doing little to dent the greenback's rebound.

The kiwi slipped to 69.18 US cents at 8am in Wellington, from 69.39 cents at 5pm yesterday. The trade-weighted index was at 73.04 from 73 yesterday.

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, jumped to its highest in a week even after March retail sales climbed only 0.2 percent, half the pace expected, and the producer price index fell. Data tonight is expected to show the US consumer price index gained 0.2 percent in March for an annual 1.1 percent gain and will be watched for clues to the timing of the next Federal Reserve interest rate hike.

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Stronger housing and food price data have helped underpin the kiwi this week, which held its ground against the stronger US dollar better than lower-yielding currencies such as the Swiss franc or the Japanese yen.


"As the US dollar pushed higher overnight the New Zealand dollar has been one of the only major currencies to hold its own," Bank of New Zealand senior market strategist Kymberly Martin said in a note. "Its resilience, even when faced with a stronger US dollar, will frustrate the Reserve Bank."

Today, the BusinessNZ Performance of Manufacturing Index for March is released at 10:30am.

Elsewhere, Australia publishes March employment data, the Bank of England reviews interest rates, and the US publishes its latest inflation data for March.

The New Zealand dollar rose to 90.36 Australian cents from 90.11 cents yesterday and advanced to 61.32 euro cents from 61.05 cents. It slipped to 4.4807 yuan from 4.4852 yuan, and was little changed at 48.69 British pence from 48.65 pence, and at 75.58 yen from 75.55 yen.