The New Zealand dollar edged higher against its major counterparts in early Asian trading on Friday after the release of a survey results showed that the business confidence in New Zealand improved significantly in the month February.
Results of a survey conducted by the ANZ Bank New Zealand showed that the business confidence rose 70.8 in February from 64.1 in the previous month. ANZ activity outlook improved to 58.5 in the month from 53.5 in January. Both readings reached their highest levels since 1994.
“Strong survey results are occurring despite headwinds from an elevated New Zealand dollar and the fact that a net 90 percent of respondents expect higher interest rates over the year ahead” the survey showed.
Elsewhere, the average household spending in Japan climbed 1.1 percent on year in January to JPY 297,070, sharply higher than forecasts for a gain of 0.5 percent following the 0.7 percent increase in December.
Japan posted a seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 3.7 percent in January, in line with expectations and unchanged from the previous month.
Additionally, the overall nationwide consumer prices were up 1.4 percent on year in January, topping forecasts for 1.3 percent but slowing from 1.6 percent in December.
Core consumer prices were up 1.3 percent on year, matching expectations and unchanged from the previous month. On a monthly basis, overall CPI was down 0.2 percent and core inflation dipped 0.3 percent.
Industrial output in Japan was up a seasonally adjusted 4.0 percent on month in January, beating forecasts for an increase of 2.8 percent following the 0.9 percent gain in December.
On a yearly basis, industrial production spiked 10.6 percent, also topping expectations for a gain of 9.4 percent following the 7.1 percent increase in the previous month.
Retail sales in January climbed 4.4 percent on year, beating forecasts for an increase of 3.8 percent following the 2.5 percent gain in December. On a seasonally adjusted monthly basis, retail sales climbed 1.4 percent, also topping expectations for 1.3 percent following the 1.2 percent decline in the previous month.
The upbeat data helped lift the New Zealand dollar back above the key 0.84 against the US dollar for the first time since January 14, rising as much as 0.8414. On the upside, the kiwi-buck pair is heading towards the next major resistance around the 0.8430 area.
The New Zealand dollar advanced to nearly a monthly high of 1.0667 against the Australian dollar, having improved from its opening quote of 1.0709. If the kiwi extends its rally, the next key resistance is seen around the 1.0550 area.
The NZ dollar rose to a 10-day high of 85.74 against the yen and advanced to 1.6293 against the euro, a level last seen on February 12. Further bullish extension could lead the kiwi challenging important resistance levels at 1.6250 against the common currency and 86.0 against the Japanese unit.