SYDNEY/WELLINGTON, May 20 (Reuters) - The Australian and New Zealand dollars were off multi-month lows against their U.S. counterpart on Monday as investors turned their attention to the outcome of key central bank events later this week.
* The Aussie was steadier at $0.9756 by 0130 GMT, recovering from Friday's slide to $0.9711, the weakest since early June 2012.
* The New Zealand dollar paused at $0.8097, having slipped to a six-month low of $0.8060 on Friday. Major support was found at $0.8053, a trough hit in September.
* Antipodean currencies have fallen more than 5.5 percent so far this month against a surging U.S. dollar on talk the Federal Reserve might dial down its massive stimulus programme later this year.
* Traders said the Aussie and kiwi dollars are ripe for consolidation as investors await insights from key central bank chiefs.
* The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will release on Tuesday the minutes of its May policy meeting when it cut rates to a record low of 2.75 percent.
* The market will look for clues as to whether the decision was a close call and how much the strong currency played a role in the timing of the easing.
* Investors have narrowed the odds of a follow-up cut, giving a less than one-in-five chance of an easing in June. They remained fully priced for a move lower by September.
* The Bank of Japan holds its policy meeting on May 21-22 while Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will make a Congressional testimony later in the week.
* Aussie dollar support seen at $0.9700 where traders cited option-related and real money bids. A clean break would put the 2012 low of $0.9581 in focus.
* On a trade-weighted basket, Aussie dived to its lowest in nearly a year at 74.8, pulling further away from a 28-year peak of 80 set in April.
* Kiwi dollar also slipped to a two-month low of 76.29 vs a basket of currencies, having set a record peak of 79.39 last month.
* Also weighing on the Antipodean currencies are renewed worries about a slowdown in China and falling prices for iron ore, Australia's biggest export earner.
* Australian government bonds were softer, with the three-year contract down 0.030 points at 97.470, while the 10-year contract fell 0.055 points to 96.780.
* New Zealand government bonds eased, pushing yields as much as 4.5 basis points higher along the curve.
(Australia and New Zealand bureaux; Editing by Jacqueline Wong) Keywords: MARKETS AUSTRALIA NEWZEALAND/FOREX
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