The NZ dollar took second place, well behind the South African rand but comfortably ahead of the Australian dollar. For the second week in succession its direction was influenced mostly by investors' perception of US monetary policy. During the week before Easter, several Federal Reserve chiefs had talked up the possibility of a rate increase in April, depressing the Kiwi. This week the Fed chairperson went against her hawkish henchmen, talking of uncertainty and caution and leading investors to wonder if there would be any increase at all this year.
In common with the other commodity currencies the Kiwi reacted positively to the development. It strengthened by three cents against sterling and took a proportionally greater two US cents off the week's back marker. For the year to date the NZ dollar is 1% higher against the US dollar and 4% firmer against sterling.