SYDNEY/WELLINGTON, April 10 (Reuters) - The Australian and New Zealand dollar extended recent hefty gains on Wednesday after strong Chinese imports data pointed to solid demand for the countries' resources, lifting both currencies to multi-decade highs in trade-weighted terms.
* China imports rose 14.1 pct y/y in March and by 20 pct mth/mth, a boon for the Antipodean nations as the Asian giant is one of their largest export markets.
* Aussie rallies to $1.0518, its highest in nearly three months, from $1.0484 early, but meets heavy option resistance around $1.0520. The break of $1.0500 should pave the way to a test of the 2013 high around $1.0600.
* Strong support seen at $1.0412, both its 100-day MA and the 61.8 pct retracement of its January-March slide.
* Kiwi catapults to an 18-month peak of $0.8538, having gained 0.7 pct on Tuesday. It broke key barriers at $0.8500 and its next target is the post-float high of $0.8845 set in August 2011. Last at $0.8526.
* Strong technical support at $0.8506, where long-term trendline resistance and support intersect.
* Aussie and kiwi trade-weighted indices fly to new highs, aided by the Bank of Japan's (BOJ) aggressive monetary easing plan announced last week. The yen is the second biggest weight on both indices.
* The Aussie index soars to 79.5, its highest since 1985, while the kiwi scales a fresh lifetime peak of 78.38.
* Antipodeans hold near multi-year highs against the yen, on expectations that cheap yen will be invested in assets offering higher returns.
* Aussie at 103.95 yen, having hit a 4-1/2-year high around 104.35, while the kiwi stands at 84.40, very near 84.75 yen, its strongest since February 2008.
* Australia and New Zealand are particularly well-placed to benefit from carry trades as a result of the Bank of Japan's pledge to keep the market flush with low-yielding yen.
* Australia's central bank sees scope to cut interest rates further if needed, a top official said on Wednesday, though he added there was a question mark on whether such a move would prove necessary.
* Investors give a one-in-five chance of a quarter point-cut to a record low of 2.75 pct in May.
* A measure of Australian consumer confidence fell in April to end three months of solid gains, a reminder of how brittle the mood can be despite low interest rates and a brighter global background.
* Data out in New Zealand shows electronic retail card spending fell for the first time in six months in March, as the Easter holiday reduced the number of trading days, with consumers spending less on clothing and durable goods,
* Australian government bonds recouped early weakness, with the three-year contract flat at 97.220. The 10-year contract also steady at 96.760, near a four-month peak of 96.815 touched Monday.
* New Zealand government bonds mostly firmer, with yields as much as 3 basis point lower at the long end of the curve.
(Australia and New Zealand bureaux) Keywords: MARKETS AUSTRALIA NEWZEALAND/FOREX
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