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N.Z. Dollar Rises to ’08 High Versus Yen Amid Global Stock Rally

New Zealand’s dollar gained to the highest in more than four years versus the yen as optimism U.S. corporate earnings will extend a third year of growth boosted global stocks.

The so-called kiwi remained higher against the U.S. dollar following an advance yesterday. The Australian currency’s advance was tempered after a government report showed the nation’s retail sales unexpectedly fell.

“It’s more just an improvement in risk sentiment in general than something very specific to kiwi,” Sireen Harajli, a foreign-exchange strategist in New York at Credit Agricole SA, said in a telephone interview. “It tends to be a favorite currency right now.”

New Zealand’s currency reached 73.94 yen, the highest since Sept. 22, 2008, before trading at 73.85, up 0.1 percent from the close yesterday in New York. It was at 83.95 U.S. cents following a 0.4 percent advance to 83.96. The Aussie dollar added 0.1 percent to 92.45 yen and was little changed at $1.0509.

The MSCI World Index of shares gained 0.4 percent yesterday, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced 0.3 percent in New York. Fourth-quarter profit at companies in the S&P 500 probably increased 2.9 percent, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg, extending a three-year expansion while marking the second-slowest quarterly growth since 2009.

Australian retail sales declined 0.1 percent in November from a month earlier, the Bureau of Statistics said yesterday. Economists in a Bloomberg survey had forecast a 0.3 percent increase.

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