While most other commodity-related and emerging-market currencies were being battered from pillar to post the NZ dollar moved quietly ahead. Throughout last week it was second only to the safe-haven Swiss franc, strengthening by nearly one US cent and adding two cents against sterling. The Kiwi completely eclipsed the Australian dollar, strengthening by a cent and a half.

For most of the at-risk currencies performance was driven by the hopes and fears of investors about slowing growth in China, an exodus from emerging market currencies and continued downward pressure on commodity, energy and equity prices. The NZ dollar avoided those predations mainly because of milk. Last Monday Russia said it was lifting its ban on dairy imports from New Zealand and the following day the Global Dairy Trade index jumped 14.8%, its first fortnightly increase since March.