New Zealand Dollar Surges as Retail Sales Grow at Record Pace

New Zealand’s dollar climbed at least 0.7 percent on Thursday against all 16 major peers after government data showed retail sales grew last quarter at the fastest pace since at least 2003.

The kiwi jumped to a one-week high versus the U.S. dollar after the statistics bureau said total retail sales volume surged a record 2.7 percent in the March quarter. Australia’s dollar extended its advance against the greenback as the U.S. currency retreated following weaker data out of Washington.

“What drove kiwi higher overnight was the weaker U.S. dollar,” said Imre Speizer, a markets strategist at Westpac Banking Corp. in Auckland. “What’s driving kiwi higher now is the positive surprise in the retail sales.”

New Zealand’s currency rose 0.8 percent to 75.43 U.S. cents as of 7:55 a.m. Tokyo time, after touching the highest since May 6 at 75.61. The Aussie climbed 0.1 percent to 81.20 U.S. cents. The U.S. dollar was little changed at $1.1355 per euro after tumbling 1.2 percent on Wednesday.

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