* reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/fx-polls?RIC=AUD= AUD poll data
* reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/fx-polls?RIC=NZD= NZD poll data
* Aussie median f’cast at $0.69 in 3 months, $0.70 1-year outlook
* Kiwi median f’cast $0.6500 in 3 months, $0.6600 in 1 year
By Swati Pandey
SYDNEY, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Analysts barely changed their forecasts for the Australian and New Zealand dollars amid fading global trade uncertainty, as investors focus on an economic slowdown at home and radical policy easing risks.
Analysts polled by Reuters see the Aussie at $0.6900 in one and three months, up a cent from the December poll, but slightly below its current $0.6864 reading.
The currency was then seen rising to $0.7000 in six months, again a cent higher than the six-month outlook of 0.6800 in December. For the year-end, it remains unchanged at $0.7000.
At the start of 2019, the Aussie was forecast to end the year at $0.7500 but finished about seven cents below, as the Sino-U.S. trade dispute and three interest rate cuts at home sapped risk appetite.
The outlook for rates remains a big unknown this year, with markets wagering it will cut at least once more to 0.5% and take the plunge into quantitative easing by buying government debt.
A run of recent data suggests the economy disappointed in the fourth quarter and the outlook for the start of this year has been clouded by scorching bushfires. “The size, intensity and duration of the current Australian bushfires mean that they will almost certainly have a larger economic impact than past fires,” ANZ economists wrote in a note.
ANZ expects a 0.1-0.2 percentage point per quarter hit on Australia’s GDP from the bushfires, while noting that recent employment data and retail sales have been strong.
Data showed retail sales in November saw the biggest jump in two years led by Black Friday promotions.
“We still think it more likely than not that the RBA will decide that the path of least regret is to ease again in February.”
Forecasts for the New Zealand dollar also edged up, with the currency seen at $0.6600 in three months and $0.6500 on a six-month horizon â€” both up from $0.6400 and $0.6430, respectively, in the previous poll.
The prediction for year-end was raised to $0.6600 compared with $0.6550 back in December.
The currency was way ahead of analysts, however, having rallied sharply late last month to reach $0.6729. It last held at $0.6615.
The kiwi has benefited from a marked improvement in recent data at home. It also got a fillip when the Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced bank capital requirements that were less harsh than many feared. (Other stories from the global foreign exchange poll: ) (Polling by Tushar Goenka and Sumanto Mondal; editing by Uttaresh.V)