The NZ dollar lost ground against its major counterparts on Tuesday, as the nation's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a three-day lockdown after detecting a single case of Covid-19 since February.

The PM imposed a level 4 lockdown, under which schools, offices and all businesses will be closed and essential services will remain functional.

The infected man lives in Auckland and has visited the nearby Coromandel region over the weekend. Both Auckland and the Coromandel region will be in lockdown for seven days.

Authorities will not be able to identify whether this is a case of the Delta variant until genome sequencing has been completed.

Ardern said that the decision was made "on the basis that it is better to start high and go down levels rather than to go low, not contain the virus and see it move quickly."

The kiwi dropped to near a 3-week low of 0.6907 against the greenback from Monday's close of 0.7016. On the downside, 0.68 is possibly seen as its next support level.

The kiwi slipped to a 4-week low of 75.37 against the yen and a 2-week low of 1.7033 against the euro, down from Monday's closing values of 76.62 and 1.6763, respectively. The kiwi is poised to challenge support around 74.00 against the yen and 1.72 against the euro.

The kiwi fell to a 2-week low of 1.0541 against the aussie, after rising to 1.0420, which was its strongest level since November 30, 2020. The kiwi may challenge support around the 1.07 mark.

Minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia's August 3 meeting showed that policymakers said the economic activity and employment were expected to decline in the September quarter as the high transmissibility of the Delta variant raised the possibility of a more gradual reopening.

The board said outbreaks of the Delta variant and accompanying lockdowns had introduced a high degree of uncertainty to the outlook for the second half of 2021.

Looking ahead, Canada housing starts for July are scheduled for release at 8:15 am ET.

U.S. NAHB housing market index for August, business inventories for June, retail sales and industrial production for July will be featured in the New York session.

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