The New Zealand dollar has risen as dairy product prices gained for the third straight auction and as traders await employment data that may show a higher jobless rate and slower employment growth in the fourth quarter.
The kiwi traded at US73.06 cents as at 8am on Wednesday in Wellington from US72.63 in Asia on Tuesday. The trade-weighted index was at 74.83 from 74.84.
The GDT price index climbed 5.9 per cent at the GlobalDairyTrade auction overnight and whole milk powder rose 7.6 per cent to $US3226 a tonne, helping underpin the kiwi dollar.
The currency has been relatively unscathed by gyrations in global stock markets although the New Zealand stock market is expected to take in some of Wall Street's slump on Monday, playing catch-up after the Waitangi Day holiday. The two-year swap rate shed 5 basis points to 2.10 per cent.
Economists expect figures on Wednesday will show the unemployment rate rose to 4.7 per cent in the fourth quarter from 4.6 per cent three months earlier, while employment growth slowed to 0.4 percent from 2.2 per cent.
The market is also awaiting the latest monetary policy statement on Thursday amid expectations of a steady-as-it-goes tone and an unchanged official cash rate of 1.75 per cent.
"A strong dairy auction provided the NZD with support overnight," said ANZ rural economist Con Williams.
"Downside pressure could come from Q4 labour market data unwinding some of its strength from the previous quarter and ahead of the RBNZ."
On Wednesday morning, the New Zealand dollar traded at 79.74 yen from 79.23 yen on Tuesday and rose to 92.61 Australian cents from A92.18c when the Reserve Bank of Australia kept its key rate unchanged at 1.5 per cent. It traded at 58.94 euro cents from 58.72c and rose to 52.28 British pence from 52.03p. The kiwi gained to 4.5904 Chinese yuan from 4.5648 yuan.