The kiwi got a slight lift overnight as a gain in oil prices on the back of heightened geopolitical risk boosted commodity currencies. 

The kiwi was trading at 67.41 US cents at 7:45 am in Wellington from 67.32 US cents at 5pm in Wellington yesterday. The trade-weighted index was at 73.12 points from 73.14.

Oil prices reached a five-month high overnight on concern Libyan production is threatened by the escalating battle for Tripoli, said Stuart Ive, private client manager at OMF. 

“Kiwi rallied alongside its commodity currency peers as oil rose overnight whilst US data met expectations,” ANZ FX/rates strategist Sandeep Parekh said.  A 1.6 percent fall in US February durable goods orders was as expected.

“The data point to a very bland investment environment which may well have been hampered by the trade dispute with China and re-negotiation of NAFTA,” he said. 

Looking ahead, he said markets will be watching for the mid-week publication of the minutes of the recent dovish FOMC meeting and the ECB policy meeting.

“Both events are expected to re-emphasise the dovish nature of policy guidance which has the potential to support both bonds and equities,” he said. 

Westpac Bank head of NZ strategy Imre Speizer said a lack of domestic drivers means the kiwi will continue to take direction from offshore events.  

The New Zealand dollar was at 94.53 Australian cents from 94.87, at 51.58 British pence from 51.52, at 59.83 euro cents from 59.94, at 75.14 Japanese yen from 74.98 yen and at 4.5264 Chinese yuan from 4.5227.

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