By Rebecca Howard
Aug. 9 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand dollar firmed after stronger than expected trade data from China and a fall in US jobless claims gave global sentiment a boost.
The kiwi was trading at 64.81 US cents at 8am from 64.56 cents at 5pm in Wellington. The trade-weighted index was at 71.90 points from 71.71.
China's July export growth lifted 3.3 percent from a year earlier in US dollar terms after falling 1.3 percent in June. Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected a 1.0 percent decline.
According to Capital Economics, the pick-up was mostly driven by stronger exports to non-US countries. Imports also fared better, falling 5.6 percent on the year versus a 7.3 percent fall in the prior month.
In the US, initial jobless claims fell by a seasonally adjusted 8,000 to 209,000 in the week ending August 3 - the fifth straight week that jobless claims were below 220,000, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
Sentiment was buoyed by the improving data and the kiwi "bounced further against the USD overnight as commodity currencies rallied," ANZ FX/rates strategist Sandeep Parekh said.
"The pair has regained more than half the initial loss in the wake of the RBNZ’s surprise 50bp cut to the official cash rate.”
Today, the main event will be the Reserve Bank of Australia monetary policy statement. The RBA held rates steady at 1.0 percent but left the door open for further easing in their latest review. Governor Philip Lowe is also due to testify before the House of Representatives' Standing Committee on Economics today.
The New Zealand dollar was trading at 95.18 Australian cents from 95.29, at 53.36 British pence from 53.08, at 57.91 euro cents from 57.58, at 68.67 yen from 68.51 and at 4.5638 yuan from 4.5461.