NZ dollar extends gains, hits 2 1/2-yr high vs USD

WELLINGTON, March 28 Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:07pm EDT

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WELLINGTON, March 28 (Reuters) - The New Zealand dollar hit a 2 1/2-year high against the U.S. dollar and scaled a post-float high versus a currency basket on Friday, extending gains on expectations that the country's interest rates will continue to rise.

The kiwi climbed to $0.8697, a level last seen in August 2011, and closing in on $0.8700, where options are due to expire later in the day.

Against a currency basket, it poked up to 81.03, its strongest since the kiwi was floated in 1985. (Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Richard Borsuk)