Investing.com - The New Zealand dollar edged up against its U.S. counterpart on Tuesday, hovering near 31-month highs after mixed Chinese manufacturing data and as comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen weighed on the greenback.
NZD/USD hit 0.8685 during late Asian trade, the pair''s highest since March 28; the pair subsequently consolidated at 0.8684, edging up 0.10%.
The pair was likely to find support at 0.8592, the low of March 27 and short-term resistance at 0.8697, the high of March 28 and a 31-month high.
Markets were jittery after data showed that China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for March rose to 50.3 from 50.2 in February. However, a separate report showed that China’s HSBC manufacturing PMI fell to 48, the weakest level in a year-and-a-half, from a final reading of 48.5 in February.
China is New Zealand''s second biggest export partner.
Meanwhile, demand for the greenback came under pressure as Fed Chair Yellen said that "considerable slack" still remained in the labor market and reiterated that the Fed’s commitment to economic stimulus will still be needed for some time.
The kiwi was little changed against the Australian dollar, with AUD/NZD easing 0.03% to 1.0676.
Also Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia held its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 2.50%, in a widely expected move.
Commenting on the decision, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said borrowing costs were likely to remain low for an extended period of time.
"The decline in the exchange rate from its highs a year ago will assist in achieving balanced growth in the economy, but less so than previously as a result of the rise over the past few months," Stevens added.
Later in the day, the Institute of Supply Management was to publish a report on U.S. manufacturing growth.