N. Zealand dollar hits record against US currency

The New Zealand dollar surged through the US$0.7800 level early Tuesday to set another 22-year record on strong local and Asian demand as the US dollar continued to weaken, currency dealers said. The local unit peaked at US$0.7835 in offshore trading overnight, its highest level since the currency was floated in March 1985. By 11:00 a.m. local time Tuesday (2300 GMT Monday) it was at US$0.7825. RBC Capital Markets immediately revised upward its NZD/USD forecast to reflect an increased risk of further central bank interest rate tightening this year. The Reserve Bank has already increased its key rate three times since February. "Strap yourselves in for US$0.8200," said currency strategist Sue Trinh, noting the company had lifted its year-end forecast for the New Zealand dollar to US$0.7900 from US$0.7600.