WELLINGTON/SYDNEY, May 3 (Reuters) - The Australian and New Zealand dollars were bolstered by a weaker euro on Friday after the European Central Bank opened the door to negative interest rates, while better U.S. data also helped commodities rally.
* The euro sagged over a cent from a peak of A$1.2886 to reach A$1.2742 after the ECB cut rates as expected but surprised by suggesting it was ready to take deposit rates into negative territory.
* The latter move was seen by many as an attempt to talk the single currency down, as its recent gains were an effective tightening of policy in the recession-hit region.
* Against the kiwi, the euro slid to NZ$1.5372 from around NZ$1.5520.
* Adding to the general mood of global easing, the Danish central bank cut its rates and the Bank of Canada got a new chief who is known as a policy dove.
* The prospect of yet more loose money pushed down EU sovereign bond yields ,helped reflate commodity prices, with oil and copper doing well, and lifted equities.
* With all the action in the euro crosses, the Aussie steadied on the U.S. dollar at $1.0252, up from a trough of $1.0222.
* Aussie support at April's low of $1.0221, a breach of which would open way for a move to $1.0100. Resistance seen at $1.0300 and above that more solidly at $1.0325.
* New Zealand dollar little changed at $0.8491, having ranged $0.8456 to $0.8503 overnight. It set a two-week high of 0.8587 on Tuesday.
* Kiwi support at Thursday's low of $0.8456 and below that $0.08438, with $0.8512, Thursday's high, the first hurdle higher.
* Data shows the number new U.S. claims for jobless benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level since the early days of the 2007-09 recession, suggesting the job market is healing even while the economy remains weak.
* Investors now looking to U.S. non-farm payrolls due later on Friday, with expectations that 145,000 jobs were added in April, with the jobless rate steady at 7.6 percent.
* Antipodeans notch gains on the yen. Aussie at 100.27 yen from around 99.5 yen, while kiwi at 83.16 yen from 82.60 yen.
* Activity to be dampened with Japanese markets closed for a holiday until Tuesday.
* NZ dollar generally outperforming the Aussie, which falls to a three-and-a-half year low on the cross rate of NZ$1.2028 .
* Australia has first quarter producer prices data, New Zealand is data-free.
* Next week sees a flurry of data in both countries. Australia has central bank rate review, retail sales, trade and jobs. New Zealand has wages and jobs data.
* Markets have narrowed the odds of further easing by the Reserve Bank of Australia, giving a 50-50 chance of a quarter-point easing to a record low of 2.75 percent at its next policy meeting on May 7.
* New Zealand government bonds open with a slight bid tone, which sees yields easing half a tick along the curve.
* Australian debt futures eased from highs overnight. The three-year contract down 0.02 points to 97.480, while the 10-year contract falls 0.015 points to 96.955.
(Australia and New Zealand bureaux) Keywords: MARKETS AUSTRALIA NEWZEALAND/FOREX
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