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NZ dollar rises to new record vs euro, seen gaining further

The New Zealand dollar rose to a fresh record against the euro and commentators say it is likely to continue to break new ground as a stronger local economy contrasts with weakness in Europe.

The kiwi touched 71.20 euro cents over the weekend, and was trading at 70.95 cents at 8am in Wellington, from 70.89 cents at 5pm on Friday. The local currency slipped to 75.22 US cents from 75.34 cents at the New York close and 75.71 cents in Wellington on Friday.

The New Zealand dollar has gained 10 percent against the euro so far this year as a comparatively weaker European economy and the region's loose monetary policy contrasts with New Zealand's relatively stronger outlook. Currency analysts in the latest BusinessDesk quarterly survey picked the euro as the currency expected to be the weakest against the kiwi this year.

"The euro is a dog," said Peter Cavanaugh, an advisor at Bancorp Treasury Services. "They have got bugger all growth, bugger all inflation, massively high unemployment, stupendously high youth unemployment and a central bank who has finally spat the dummy and turned on the printing presses with considerable gusto.

"Barring a massive New Zealand-based disaster that sends the New Zealand dollar massively down, it's difficult to see the kiwi going down."

Today, traders will be eyeing the release of Chinese March trade data to see how New Zealand's largest trading partner is tracking.

In New Zealand, electronic card transaction data for March is published at 10.45am.

The New Zealand dollar slipped to 98.06 Australian cents from 98.32 cents on Friday, ahead of the release of Australian credit card spending data today.

The local currency was trading at 90.40 yen from 91.23 yen on Friday ahead of the publication of the Bank of Japan minutes to its March meeting. The kiwi was little changed at 51.40 British pence from 51.44 pence on Friday. The trade-weighted index declined to 79.11 from 79.39 on Friday.