By Cecile Lefort

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Analysts trimmed forecasts for the Australian and New Zealand dollars in the latest Reuters poll, reflecting expectations the U. S. Federal Reserve will eventually start winding down its massive stimulus programme and put the greenback in the driver's seat.

A poll of 43 analysts forecast the Aussie at $0.9300 on a one-month horizon, before edging slightly lower to $0.9000 in six months and $0.8800 this time next year. It last traded at $0.9420.

If realised, this means the Aussie's recent bounce isn't expected to last. It touched a three-year trough of $0.8848 in August but managed to climb four cents since then, partly after the Fed's shock decision in September to delay trimming its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying stimulus

Still, the Aussie is down around 9 percent this year, hit by lower interest rates and an economy struggling to adjust to the end of a peak in the mining boom. It remains vulnerable to broad U. S. dollar strength when the Fed starts to curb its super easy policy.

The Australian currency lost some of its shine after the Reserve Bank of Australia cut rates in August to a record low of 2.5 percent.

Financial markets are pricing in a one-in-three chance of another cut by December, rising to 50-50 by April next year.

However, much depends on how the Australian dollar fares and whether non-mining sectors of the economy gain enough speed to replace the cooling resources boom.

Many analysts suspect that should the Aussie hold above 90 U. S. cents, the RBA will choose to offset it by cutting rates again.


The median one-month forecast put the kiwi around $0.8200, from its current level of $0.8282, and dipping to $0.7800 in one-year's time, a poll of 40 analysts showed.

Like the Aussie, the kiwi managed to bounce back from one-year lows struck in August but it's also facing a challenging outlook.

Still, the kiwi has shown remarkable resilience compared with its Aussie cousin, reflecting solid domestic growth and expectations interest rates will rise sometime next year.

It is flat against the greenback this year.

(Editing by Shri Navaratnam)


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