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SYDNEY: The New Zealand dollar rose on Tuesday as lockdowns in the country were seen successfully lowering new COVID-19 infections, while the Australian currency was stronger after new data raised hopes its economy could avoid recession.

The kiwi dollar was up 0.49% at $0.6949, the highest in over two weeks and not far off its monthly peak of $0.7088 on Aug. 4. That puts it on track for a monthly gain of 0.85%. The kiwi was also benefiting from weakness in the greenback, which was hovering near two-week lows on Tuesday ahead of US jobs figures later in the week.

Domestic sentiment in New Zealand, where interest rates are expected to be hiked as early as this year to cool down its economy, was "drifting back towards 'glass-half-full'", analysts at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group said.

New Zealand health chief Ashley Bloomfield said public health measures in place were slowing the outbreak that broke a six month virus-free period, and cases would continue to decline.

Across the Tasman sea, the Aussie was 0.19% higher to $0.7308, as new data showed a rise in government spending has provided a crucial boost to economic growth that may have helped the country dodge an imminent recession.

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