The New Zealand dollar fell against the greenback in the offshore session, following the euro lower as confidence in the single currency ebbed.
The kiwi recently traded at US81.15 cents, down from US81.49c at 5pm yesterday, and on the Trade Weighted Index of major trading partners' currencies it rose to 73.10 from 72.02.
Activity on global currency markets was marked by traders booking profits on the euro's recent rally, but deeper losses were avoided on hopes the European Central Bank will shortly move to support Spain and Italy.
"In still quiet trading, investors further reined in their risk appetite a touch, lending support to the safe-haven US dollar and Japanese yen," said Mike Jones, a market strategist at Bank of New Zealand. "This seems to be mostly related to yesterday's softer batch of Chinese activity figures."
Economics figures released yesterday showed Chinese factory output slowed in July, pouring cold water on hopes that a manufacturing rebound in the world's second biggest economy would help spur global growth. Industrial output - the measure most investors track - eased to 9.2 per cent growth in July versus 9.5 per cent in June.
Data is expected to feature strongly in today's Asia trading session, with local electronic card figures for July due mid-morning. That will be followed by a Reserve Bank of Australia statement on its monetary policy and later by Chinese trade balance numbers.
On the crosses, the New Zealand dollar recently traded at 76.80 Australian cents, little changed from A76.76c yesterday, and it fell to 63.79 yen from 63.87 yen. The kiwi rose to 65.98 euro cents from 65.71 euro cents at 5pm, and was little changed at 51.89 pence from 51.91 pence.
The kiwi may trade between a range of US81c and US81.60, Jones said, with further consolidation likely.
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