The Australian and New Zealand dollars fell against their major counterparts in the Asian session on Thursday, while the Japanese yen advanced, amid risk aversion following a hawkish statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve, signaling a rate hike quickly in the wake of high inflation and a strong labor market.

The Fed said that it would be appropriate to raise rates soon to contain a spike in inflation that is running well above its goal.

The central bank indicated that it would begin to shrink its balance sheet after starting to raise rates.

"With inflation well above 2 percent and a strong labor market, the Committee expects it will soon be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate," the statement said.

Global stocks fell and bond yields surged after Fed Chair Jerome Powell stuck a more hawkish tone at his press conference, suggesting a liftoff in interest rates in March and the possibility of an aggressive tightening after that.

Data from Statistics New Zealand showed that New Zealand's consumer prices jumped a 30-year high 5.9 percent on year in the fourth quarter of 2021.

That beat forecasts for an increase of 5.7 percent and accelerated from 4.9 percent in the three months prior.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that Australia's export prices were up 3.5 percent on quarter in the fourth quarter of 2021 - slowing from 6.2 percent in the three months prior.

On a yearly basis, export prices skyrocketed 38.3 percent.

The aussie dropped to a 1-1/2-month low of 0.7069 against the greenback and a 3-day low of 1.5877 against the euro, following its prior highs of 0.7121 and 1.5779, respectively. The next likely support for the aussie lies around 0.68 against the greenback and 1.60 against the euro.

Retreating from its early highs of 81.70 against the yen and 0.9017 against the loonie, the aussie weakened to 3-day lows of 80.98 and 0.8985, respectively. The currency may challenge support around 78.00 against the yen and 0.88 against the loonie.

The kiwi slipped to more than a 1-year low of 0.6601 against the greenback, from a high of 0.6661 seen at 6:45 pm ET. Next near term support for the currency is likely seen around the 0.65 level.

The kiwi touched more than 5-month lows of 75.65 against the yen and 1.7008 against the euro, falling from its previous highs of 76.42 and 1.6875, respectively. The kiwi is seen finding support around 74.00 against the yen and 1.72 against the euro.

The kiwi pulled back from an early 2-day high of 1.0679 against the aussie, edging down to 1.0720. On the downside, 1.09 is likely seen as its next support level.

The safe-haven yen climbed to a 2-day high of 128.54 against the euro, from a low of 129.01 set at 7 pm ET. If the yen rises further, 126.00 is possibly seen as its next resistance level.

The yen rose to 153.88 against the pound and 123.84 against the franc, off its early lows of 154.54 and 124.20, respectively. The currency may locate resistance around 149.00 against the pound and 119.5 against the franc.

Against the loonie, the yen gained to 90.10, after falling to 90.66 at 7 pm ET. Immediate resistance for the currency is seen around the 88.00 level.

The yen, however, depreciated to 114.79 against the greenback, its lowest level since January 19. Should the yen continues its downtrend, 116.00 is likely seen as its next support level.

Looking ahead, U.S. advance GDP data for the fourth quarter, weekly jobless claims for the week ended January 22, durable goods orders and pending home sales for December are due out in the New York session.

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