The New Zealand dollar firmed but remains within its recent range as the market awaits further developments in the coronavirus crisis.

The kiwi was trading at 62.97 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 62.75 cents at the same time yesterday. The trade-weighted index was at 69.87 points from 69.64.

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The official tally of people infected with the virus is approaching 95,000 in 84 countries and 3,285 people are known to have died of it.

Another 306 infections and 31 deaths were reported in the past day.


"We're in a bit of a holding pattern," said Martin Rudings, a dealer at OMF, adding that future economic data is likely to bring bad news.

"There's quite a lot of collateral damage to growth and trade still to come out. I don't think that's a recipe for buying kiwi," Rudings said.

Fraser Whineray, chair of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's Business Advisory Council, today said the big end of town was well prepared to deal with the virus.

He said the council spent 50 minutes of a two-and-a-half-hour meeting with Ardern today discussing the covid-19 outbreak – New Zealand has recorded three cases so far.

Ardern has urged small and medium-sized businesses to talk proactively with their banks about their immediate cash requirements.

Asked whether the government would bring forward infrastructure products to stimulate the economy, Ardern said front-ending the government's "New Zealand Upgrade" programme had been incredibly helpful.

"That's $12 billion in infrastructure that we have focused on being as close to shovel ready as possible, so we've got a head start."

Chinese scientists have found at least two separate strains of the virus since the outbreak began in December, the UK's Daily Mail reported. About 70 per cent of those infected appear to have the more aggressive form, it said.


The New Zealand dollar was trading at 95.09 Australian cents from 94.98 cents yesterday. It was at 48.92 British pence from 48.98, at 56.52 euro cents from 56.22, at 67.57 yen from 67.40, and at 4.3678 Chinese yuan from 4.3508.

The bid price on the two-year swap rate rose to 0.6933 per cent from 0.6307 yesterday while the 10-year swaps climbed to 1.0950 per cent from 1.0225 per cent.