FOREX-NZ dollar dented by dovish cenbank, USD firm post-Fed

(Updates prices, adds comments)

* Kiwi dollar inches up after setting 4-year low

* RBNZ opens door to possible rate cut

* Dollar index stays firm in wake of Fed statement

By Ian Chua and Masayuki Kitano

SYDNEY/SINGAPORE, Jan 29 (Reuters) – The New Zealand dollar pared some losses but remained near a four-year low on Thursday as investors priced in a greater chance of rate cuts there, while U.S. dollar bulls focused on the positive in the Federal Reserve’s latest policy statement.

The kiwi had tumbled to $ 0.7314, its lowest level since March 2011, after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand opened the door to a possible cut in rates, having only last month flagged that further tightening was needed.

Traders said the move to a neutral stance was expected, but giving an allowance for rate cuts was not.

“For the NZ dollar, a further repricing of RBNZ rate expectations will imply a period of under performance against the G10 crosses, especially given that a number of markets have already undergone a significant repricing of policy expectations in recent months,” JPMorgan analyst Sally Auld said.

The kiwi regained some ground after hitting its four-year low and last traded at $ 0.7332. Against the yen, it last traded at 86.49 yen, up from a three-month low of 85.87 yen set earlier on Thursday.

While the RBNZ was unambiguously dovish, the Fed had something for everyone. The hawks latched on to its upbeat outlook for the economy, while the doves interpreted a reference to global markets as suggesting it might delay any interest rate hike.

The Fed said it would take “financial and international developments” into account when determining when to raise rates, referring to global markets for the first time since January 2013.

U.S. Treasuries had rallied on Wednesday, with the 30-year Treasury yield setting a record low of 2.273 percent . The U.S. 30-year bond yield last stood at 2.298 percent.

Overall, the Fed’s current stance is a supportive factor for the dollar, especially at a time when currencies such as the euro have come under pressure, said Teppei Ino, analyst for Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in Singapore.

“The stance seems to be that they are sticking to a path toward the normalisation of monetary policy,” Ino said.

The euro eased 0.1 percent to $ 1.1278. It had shed 0.8 percent on Wednesday, partly due to renewed concerns about Greece.

Greece’s newly installed leftist prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, challenged international creditors on Wednesday by halting privatisation plans agreed under the country’s bailout deal, prompting a third day of heavy losses on financial markets.

Against a basket of major currencies, the dollar held firm at 94.727 , not far from an 11-year peak of 95.481 set on Friday.

On the yen, the dollar edged up 0.3 percent to 117.96 yen , staying within the prevailing 117.00-119.00 yen range seen over the past week or so.

(Editing by Eric Meijer)

Dollar Index

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