SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Stocks on Asian markets were considerably lower on Thursday after a Fed announcement assuring that interest rates would stay low in the United States, at least for the next three years, sparking renewed weakness in the greenback.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index fell 156.16 points or 0.67% to 23,319.37. The broader Topix index slid 0.36% to 1,638.40.
The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday said interest rates would be kept near zero until 2023. This pushed the yen sharply higher, although interest rates in Japan are no higher.
The Fed also said it was targeting a little over 2% inflation.
In Australia, the All Ordinaries fell 77.70 points or 1.26% to 6,069.20.
The Hong Kong Hang Seng plummeted 384.78 points or 1.56% to 24,340.35.
China's Shanghai Composite fell 13.40 points or 0.41% to 3,270.44.
The U.S. dollar, despite being sold off in the U.S. following the Fed announcement, did a back flip in Asia, and finished the Sydney day sharply lower. Only the yen held its ground, rising to a 7-week high of 104.80.
The euro plummeted to 1.1777 by the Sydney close Thursday. the pound was only slightly lower at 1.2950. The Swiss franc weakened to 0.9125.
The Canadian dollar dived to 1.3225. The Australian dollar fell to 0.7273. The New Zealand dollar dipped to 0.6689.