The New Zealand dollar was little changed against the greenback as the US dollar index reached technical resistance levels, while the kiwi extended its gains against the Aussie after weaker-than-expected jobs data.

The local currency traded at 70.98 US cents as at 5pm in Wellington from 70.92 cents late yesterday and climbed to 94.92 Australian cents from 93.80 cents.

The US Dollar Index reached 100.57 overnight, a level it has twice failed to break through in the past two years and was last consistently higher in early 2003. The market is awaiting key US events tonight including inflation data and housing starts and testimony from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen before the joint economic committee of Congress. The Australian dollar had been weakening ahead of today's employment figures, which showed that economy added 9,800 jobs, fewer than expected, in October, and the kiwi extended its gains after the figures were released.

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"The US dollar index is hitting its head on a pretty important level - you could argue it's at a very key resistance level," said Alex Hill, head of corporate FX at NZForex. "A move higher could suggest a new range. Tonight is a big night for US data and with Yellen speaking. It is an interesting spot for the US dollar."


Hill said the market was "slightly disappointed" with the Australian employment figures but that wasn't enough to change the general trend.

New Zealand's two-year swaps fell 4 basis points to 2.17 per cent and the 10-year swaps fell 9 basis points to 3.12 per cent.

The kiwi traded at 77.33 yen from 77.36 yen yesterday. It rose to 4.8764 yuan from 4.8711 yuan. The local currency rose to 57.09 British pence from 56.84 British pence and rose to 66.35 euro cents from 66 cents. The trade-weighted index increased to 77.62 from 77.36 yesterday.