The New Zealand dollar has hit a six-month-high against its US counterpart, as improved economic data boosted investors' confidence in riskier currencies.
The dollar climbed to US73.5 cents on Tuesday morning but by midday had slipped back a little and was trading at US73.2c.
Westpac market strategist Imre Speizer says the dollar has steadily appreciated since early June, when it was buying US65.5c, but the push above US73c took many analysts by surprise.
Mr Speizer attributes the rise to a pick up in investors' appetite for risk.
He says expectations the Reserve Bank will lift interest rates on Thursday are also pushing up the New Zealand and Australian currencies.