By Rebecca Howard
April 26 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar firmed ahead of key data in the US after bouncing off downside support in thin, holiday-affected trading.
The kiwi was trading at 66.21 US cents at 8am in Wellington versus 65.91 US cents yesterday in New York. Markets were closed in New Zealand and Australia for Anzac Day yesterday. The trade-weighted index was at 72.39 from 72.31.
"The kiwi rebounded partially overnight as the recent US dollar rally took a breather. However, we maintain a downward bias for this cross over the medium term," said ANZ Bank economist Michael Callaghan.
The US dollar has pushed higher as upbeat retail, exports and durable goods data there has fueled demand for the greenback. Markets have paused, however, ahead of first-quarter US gross domestic product data due later in the global trading day.
The kiwi also continued to push higher against the Aussie, extending the rally from Wednesday that was triggered by lower-than-expected inflation data across the Tasman, said Mike Shirley, a dealer at Kiwibank. The kiwi was trading at 94.42 from 93.94 Australian cents yesterday in New York.
Looking ahead, investors will be watching for today's ANZ Bank consumer confidence numbers as well as merchandise trade data for March. Economists are expecting a surplus of $116 million for March and an annual deficit of $6.3 billion, according to a Bloomberg poll. The main focus, however, will be on the US GDP
The New Zealand dollar was trading at 51.35 British pence from 51.07, at 59.47 euro cents from 59.08, at 73.92 Japanese yen from 73.93 and at 4.4637 Chinese yuan from 4.4296.