24 Aug 2009

NZ dollar higher on US central banker's comments

1:08 pm on 24 August 2009

The New Zealand dollar has risen to almost 69 cents against the US currency following comments from the head of the US Federal Reserve on prospects for a return to global growth.

At 12.30pm on Monday the kiwi stood at 68.52 US cents.

The currency hit 68.9 US cents two weeks ago, which was an 11-month high.

On Friday, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke said economic activity appeared to be levelling out, both in the United States and abroad, and the prospects for a return to growth in the near term appear good.

He warned the road to recovery would be a long one, however, and that US unemployment would fall only gradually.

Bank of New Zealand currency strategist Danica Hampton says Mr Bernanke's comments have improved global sentiment and as a result, growth sensitive currencies have pushed a little higher.