The New Zealand dollar was little changed, having dropped to a three-month low overnight following a report showing weaker business confidence and a poll showing National had lost its lead to Labour three weeks out from the election.

The kiwi traded at 71.79 US cents as at 8am in Wellington, having earlier touched a low of 71.30 cents, from 71.68 cents late yesterday. The trade-weighted index was at 75.20 from 75.27.

The ANZ Business Outlook showed business confidence dipped in August versus July and pricing intentions dropped, underlining expectations inflation will remain relatively restrained. Meanwhile, the latest Colmar Brunton Poll put support for Labour at 43 per cent, ahead of National on 41 per cent while Jacinda Ardern is ahead of Bill English as preferred prime minister at 34 per cent to 33 per cent.

"The kiwi failed to sustain its steady overnight recovery of the 0.7200 handle after yesterday afternoon's downbeat NZ business confidence numbers, and starts Friday down 0.75 per cent from Monday's open," said traders at HiFX in a note.


The market is now awaiting August payrolls data in the US tonight, expected to show the world's biggest economy added 180,000 jobs last month, down from 209,000 in July, with little pressure on wages.

Ahead of those figures, in New Zealand today is the release of terms of trade figures for the second quarter.

"Markets should settle through the local trading session today, as the focus turns to tonight's US employment report," said Jason Wong, currency strategist at Bank of New Zealand. "We're expecting monthly wage data to underwhelm, reflecting technical factors like the timing of the survey, so no fuel there to support a USD or rates turnaround."

See live rates for the NZ-US $ below. Click for more information:NzForex Foreign Exchange Transfers

The kiwi didn't move much after the release this morning of QV house price figures showing the QV house price index rose 4.8 per cent in the year to August, the slowest annual rate since August 2012.

The New Zealand dollar fell to 90.31 Australian cents from 90.71 cents yesterday. The kiwi fell to 78.94 yen from 79.22 yen and rose to 4.7301 yuan from 4.7284 yuan. It traded at 60.31 euro cents from 60.34 cents and at 55.51 British pence from 55.44 pence.