The New Zealand dollar was largely unchanged as investors remained relatively upbeat about the local economic outlook relative to the rest of the world.

The kiwi traded at 61.86 US cents at 5pm in Wellington from 61.87 cents yesterday. The trade-weighted index was at 69.83 from 69.75 yesterday.

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Investors remain relatively optimistic about the local economic recovery as policymakers discuss ways to get activity back to normal while the much of the world deals with more severe outbreaks of the coronavirus.

A trans-Tasman working group expects to deliver its recommendations to the New Zealand and Australian governments on how to re-open international travel between the neighbouring nations, and Kiwi ministers will next month decide on whether to ease back restrictions even further.


"It almost feels as though we're back to normal – not quite but compared to how it was people are quite relaxed," said Michael Johnston, a senior trader at HiFX.

"It's hard to see the kiwi back in the 55 US cent level, he said. "You'd have to see a bigger, badder next wave of coronavirus."

Johnston said New Zealand's economy is well-placed relative to many others, and any dips in the kiwi would be a buying opportunity.

Local data today showed business confidence was slightly less gloomy about the economic outlook in the latest ANZ Business Outlook survey. However, Stats NZ figures showed the steepest drop in filled jobs in more than 20 years, and the ANZ survey also indicated more firms planned to lay off staff.

The kiwi rose to 93.57 Australian cents from 93.16 cents yesterday. Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe today told a parliamentary inquiry that the Australian economy was faring better than expected.

The local currency traded at 66.68 yen from 66.53 yen yesterday, 4.4318 Chinese yuan from 4.4260 yuan, 56.16 euro cents from 56.48 cents, and 50.46 British pence from 50.23 pence.

The bid price on the two-year swap rate was 0.1625 per cent from 0.1575 per cent, while 10-year swaps were at 0.6500 per cent from 0.6625 per cent.