POLL-Yen slide seen easing for few months pending BOJ moves
* Yen to maintain current weakness for next few months
* Analysts wait for BOJ to act on promise of stimulus
BANGALORE, Feb 6 (Reuters) - The yen's recent sharp slide will halt over the next few months, waiting for the Bank of Japan to act on its promise to ease policy significantly, according to the latest Reuters poll of currency strategists.
The safe-haven yen has lost 15 percent on the dollar since October, slumping to a 33-month low on Wednesday, prompted at least in part by new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe putting the BOJ under intense pressure to implement aggressive monetary easing.
Reuters' poll of 64 currency strategists, conducted this week, showed the dollar at 92 yen in one and three months and 95 yen in a year's time compared expectations of with 86, 85 and 90 yen in last month's poll.
Dollar/yen rose to 94.075, its highest level since May 2010, earlier on Wednesday and has now caught analysts off guard for three straight polls, ending each month above the most aggressive call for its weakness.
"From a medium term point of view we are probably somewhere close to the peak here at the moment. We really look for a bit of consolidation," said Shaun Osborne, chief currency strategist at TD Securities.
Latest median consensus for dollar/yen in one-, three- and six- months is above 90 for the first time since an August 2010 poll.
"This is one of the biggest three-month moves in dollar/yen we've had since the mid-1990s and its come really just on the promise of more policy action from the Bank of Japan at a later date and some very non-specific commitments to a higher inflation target down the road," Osborne added.
The yen ended January at 91.7, shedding nearly six percent from the start of the year and recording its largest monthly loss since last February, as the central bank announced its most determined effort yet to end years of economic stagnation and chronic deflation.
It doubled its inflation target to 2 percent and announced a switch to open-ended asset purchases in order to achieve it.
Japan has not been particularly successful in achieving the 1 percent target it set last year and as the recently announced asset purchases are only set to start in 2014, many strategists expect the yen to remain broadly flat from here.
But, there is still a case for the free fall to continue. A new Bank of Japan governor may bring forward the policy shift.
"A further significant weakening over coming months is highly likely, with Japanese monetary policy likely to become far more stimulatory once a new governor is in place," wrote Anezka Christovova and Alvise Marino, analysts at Credit Suisse.
The yen came under renewed pressure after BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa on Tuesday announced he will step down on March 19, three weeks before his five-year term ends in April.
Prime Minister Abe is expected to name Shirakawa's successor later this month and investors expect a more dovish leader to be appointed to push through measures to fight deflation.
(Polling and analysis by Sarmista Sen and Rahul Karunakar; Additional reporting by Ashrith Doddi. Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)