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Dollar, U.S. stock futures edge up after Fed; BOJ awaited

A man walks past an electronic board displaying the Nikkei average outside a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan, April 1, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

By Lisa Twaronite

TOKYO (Reuters) - The dollar and U.S. stock futures edged up in the wake of the U.S. Federal Reserve's statement that offered few clues on its monetary policy outlook, but moves were slight as investors awaited the Bank of Japan's policy decision.

In its statement issued after its meeting on Wednesday, the Fed left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, but kept the door open to a hike in June while showing little sign it was in a hurry to tighten.

"The committee continues to closely monitor inflation indicators and global economic and financial developments," the Fed said following its two-day meeting.

The BOJ's policy decision, which is often announced around noon in Tokyo, or 0300 GMT, will be a close call at this meeting.

Policymakers are likely hesitant to take further steps after unveiling their negative interest rate policy in January, though a strong yen and receding inflation expectations could prompt them to ease further.

Data issued early on Thursday showed Japan's core consumer price index fell 0.3 percent from the year-ago period, compared with economists' median estimate for a 0.2 percent gain.

"USD/JPY is likely to fall steeply if there is no change in policy," Sean Callow, senior currency strategist at Westpac in Sydney, said in a note to clients. "Most likely there will be at least some tweaks of the existing suite of policies."

The dollar edged up slightly to 111.53 yen, below a three-week high of 111.90 notched on Monday.

The euro was steady at $1.1325.

Nikkei futures in Chicago pointed to a fall of 0.3 percent in Japan's Nikkei stock index.

S&P 500 e-mini futures edged up 0.1 percent, after Wall Street logged solid gains overnight.

U.S. crude futures were down 0.2 percent in early Asian trading at $45.23 a barrel, after hitting their 2016 high of $45.62 after the Fed's decision. Brent also rose to a 2016 high of $47.45. [O/R]

Grabbing the central bank spotlight, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged on Thursday at 2.25 percent, but reiterated further easing may be needed given weak inflation.

The decision propelled the New Zealand dollar up 1.6 percent to $0.6922, after it rocketed as high as $0.6944.

Brazil's central bank also left interest rates unchanged late on Wednesday, leaving its benchmark Selic rate at 14.25 percent for the sixth straight meeting in its fight against high inflation in what could be the current board's last decision ahead of that country's likely change of government.

(Reporting by Lisa Twaronite; Editing by Eric Meijer)