WELLINGTON/SYDNEY, Feb 19 (Reuters) - The New Zealand and Australian dollars marked time in holiday thinned markets on Tuesday holding close to four-year highs against the yen while notching modest gains on the euro on renewed warnings about the European economy.
* Near term focus on minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) February meeting where it elected to keep rates at 3 pct, saying it wanted to assess the impact of past cuts.
* Analysts assume it will leave the door open for further easing if needed. Any comment on the strength of the Aussie dollar could have an impact at the margin.
* The Antipodeans hold firm on the yen, which remains under selling pressure as Japan signals it will push ahead with aggressive monetary easing, having escaped criticism from G20 countries at the weekend.
* The Aussie at 96.72 close to Monday's local level, and in sight of a four-year high of 97.42 touched earlier this month.
* The Aussie has gained 17 percent on the yen since November with some analysts expecting the rise to continue given the Japanese government's determination to fight deflation.
* The kiwi also holds its gains at 79.43 yen, a whisker away from its highest since 2008 at 79.64 set last week. It has gained 22 percent since November.
* The Aussie quiet against the U.S. dollar, with U.S. markets closed for a holiday. It resumes at $1.0293, a shade above Monday's late local level, having ranged a tight $1.0280 and $1.0315 overnight.
* Support was found at $1.0260 and below that the year low of $1.0227, with resistance around $1.0310.
* The New Zealand dollar edges up to $0.8450 in early trade, from $0.8425 on Monday. It is seen taking a breather after making a 17-month high of $0.8534 last week after a string of upbeat economic numbers.
* Kiwi seen supported by improving domestic fundamentals and the prospect of higher rates. Near term support seen around $0.8415, the 10-day moving average and 50 percent retracement of the-year-to-date rally, with resistance at $0.8490.
* The euro falls against the dollar as European Central Bank president Mario Draghi says the euro's appreciation adds downside risks to inflation and reiterates there are risks to the euro zone economic outlook.
* Draghi says the euro's exchange rate was not a policy target but was important for growth and stability, adding that appreciation of the euro 'is a risk'.
* Aussie eases a touch more on the kiwi to NZ$1.2179 eyeing the 2 1/2-year low of NZ$1.2136 hit on Friday.
* New Zealand government bond prices mostly flat.
* Australian government bond futures also flat, with the three-year contract at 97.100 and the 10-year contract at 96.455.
(Australia and New Zealand bureaux) Keywords: MARKETS AUSTRALIA NEWZEALAND/FOREX
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