November 9, 2017 / 1:25 AM / in a year

FOREX-Dollar hampered by US tax plan worries; hawkish RBNZ buoys kiwi

* Dollar inches higher vs basket of major currencies

* But uncertainty over U.S. tax reforms clouds outlook

* RBNZ keeps rates steady, but points to faster inflation

* Kiwi hits 2-week high as RBNZ outlook taken as hawkish

By Masayuki Kitano

SINGAPORE, Nov 9 (Reuters) - The U.S. dollar inched higher versus a basket of currencies on Thursday, but its near-term outlook was seen clouded by worries over possible delays to U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax reform plans.

The dollar last stood at 94.926 versus a basket of six major currencies, up 0.1 percent on the day but staying below a three-month high of 95.150 set in late October.

The New Zealand dollar touched a two-week high after comments from the country’s central bank on the inflation outlook were taken as hawkish, even as it kept interest rates unchanged as expected.

Earlier, the New Zealand dollar rose to as high as $0.6974 , its highest level since Oct. 24. It later came off that peak and was last trading at $0.6950.

Analysts said the broader market focus was on the fate of the Trump administration’s tax reform plans.

A U.S. Senate tax-cut bill, differing from one in the House of Representatives, was expected to be unveiled on Thursday, complicating a Republican tax overhaul push and increasing scepticism on Wall Street about the effort.

“There’s very much a risk of disappointment,” said Steven Dooley, currency strategist for Western Union Business Solutions in Melbourne.

“The U.S. dollar could go through a weakening phase on the back of uncertainty around that tax reform,” Dooley said, referring to the near-term outlook.

Against the yen, the dollar edged up 0.1 percent to 113.98 yen, but remained below an eight-month high of 114.735 yen set on Monday.

The euro held steady at $1.1588, staying above a low of $1.1553 set on Tuesday, which was the euro’s lowest level since July 20.

The U.S. dollar has been supported against the yen and the euro recently, partly due to expectations for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in December for a third time this year and for further Fed policy tightening next year. (Reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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