SYDNEY/WELLINGTON, April 3 (Reuters) - The Aussie and New Zealand dollars were up sharply on the euro and sterling on Wednesday amid more gloomy European data, while a rally in world equity markets helped keep them steady against their U.S. counterpart.
* Sterling was the biggest loser sliding 1.3 percent against the NZ dollar to a record low NZ$1.7930. Also down 1 percent on the Aussie at A$1.4452
* NZ dollar lifted by a surge in global dairy prices, with a 14.2 percent rise in the average price to the highest since Fonterra started the auction system in mid-2008. That followed a 14.8 percent lift two weeks ago. Volumes fall reflecting the impact of New Zealand's drought.
* The Australian dollar steady around $1.0442 having touched a high of $1.0480 after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) held rates steady on Tuesday.
* Aussie support is seen initially at $1.0440 and below that $1.0410, the 100-day moving average. Chart resistance and option offers block the way around $1.0500.
* The outlook for steady Australian rates contrasts with Japan, EU and UK where there is intense pressure for further easing given their ailing economies.
* The New Zealand dollar at $0.8416, after hitting a six-week high of $0.8446 overnight, making it the strongest performer among major currencies.
* Kiwi support initially just below $0.8400 and more solidly at $0.8385, the April 1 high. Resistance around $0.8450, the 78.6 percent retracement of its February-March decline.
* U.S. dollar bounces off a one-month low against the yen, bolstered by a rally on Wall Street and investor positioning before a Bank of Japan monetary policy meeting this week.
* The BoJ is widely expected to ramp up its bond buying and extend the maturities of the bonds it purchases under new Governor Haruhiko Kuroda at the bank's April 3-4 policy meeting.
* The euro slips as euro zone data shows the region was contracting last month, raising expectations European Central Bank President Mario Draghi may be more dovish at Thursday's monetary policy meeting.
* Against the yen, the Antipodean currencies trim recent losses, with the Aussie at 97.56 yen from 97.06, and the kiwi up to 78.59 yen from 77.96 yen.
* Similarly, the Antipodeans notch hefty gains against the euro and sterling. Euro skids to A$1.2259 and is down 0.7 percent on the kiwi at NZ$1.5118.
* Chinese services PMI due later in the day, while Australia has monthly trade figures.
* Australian government bonds futures weaken, with the three-year contract down 0.06 points to 97.060, while the 10-year contract dips 0.04 points to 96.540.
* New Zealand government bonds open flat.
Keywords: MARKETS AUSTRALIA NEWZEALAND/FOREX
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