COZforex: The New Zealand dollar was higher against its US counterpart on Wednesday, despite the release of lower-than-expected retail sales data out of New Zealand, while investors eyed US producer price inflation data due later in the day.

NZD/USD hit 0.8664 amid late Asian trade, the session high; the pair subsequently consolidated at 0.8648, rising 0.23%.
Official data earlier showed that retail sales in New Zealand rise 0.7% in the first quarter, disappointing expectations for a 0.9% increase, after a 1.2% advance in the previous quarter.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobiles and gas stations, rise 0.8% in the last quarter, compared to expectations for a 0.9% gain. Core retail sales in the fourth quarter of 2013 were revised up to a 1% increase from a previously estimated 0.7% rise.

The data came after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand said, in its Financial Stability Report, that house sales declined 11% between October and March, following the introduction of mortgage lending restrictions.

The central bank added that it had expected sales to decline by between 3% and 8% in the year through October 2014.
The kiwi was higher against the euro, with EUR/NZD slipping 0.12% to 1.5861.

(COZ forex UK)