The NZ economic data were not a great deal of help to the Kiwi. On Tuesday the Global Dairy Trade index, which tracks milk prices, showed them falling for a fourth successive month. The following morning, figures for the second quarter showed unemployment ticking up to 5.9% after fewer-than-expected jobs were added.

The US dollar was in a better place, strengthening after a senior Federal Reserve official said that only a "significant deterioration" in the economy would persuade him not to vote for an interest rate increase next month. It was a different story in Britain, where evidence emerged that the Bank of England is less eager for higher interest rates than previously thought.

Overall the NZ dollar lost a quarter of a US cent. It strengthened by half a cent against sterling.