Forexpros – The New Zealand dollar rallied to an almost six-month high against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, boosted by upbeat New Zealand economic data and as markets turned to the European Central Bank’s refinancing operation.

NZD/USD hits 0.8438 during late Asian trade, the pair’s highest since September 5; the pair subsequently consolidated at 0.8425, climbing 0.58%.

The pair was likely to find support at 0.8348, Tuesday’s low and resistance at 0.8467, the high of August 29.

A report by the National Bank of New Zealand showed earlier that its index of business confidence climbed to 28.0 in February from a reading of 16.9 the previous month.

The report came after official data showed that buildings consents in New Zealand surged 8.3% in January after a 2.6% rise the previous month. December’s figure had been revised up from 2.1%.

Meanwhile, the risk-related kiwi was also boosted as markets turned to the ECB’s second three-year long-term refinancing operation, after a similar liquidity injection in December averted a credit crunch and eased pressure on peripheral euro zone bond markets.

The kiwi was also higher against the Australian dollar with AUD/NZD slipping 0.14%, to hit 1.2832.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release a preliminary report on fourth-quarter gross domestic product, followed by data on manufacturing activity in the Chicago area.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was also due to testify on the semi-annual monetary policy report before the House Financial Services Committee in Washington.