The Australian and NZ dollars fell against their major counterparts in the Asian session on Wednesday amid rising risk aversion, as coronavirus lockdowns in Europe and safety worries about a popular coronavirus vaccine dented hopes of global economic recovery.

Germany, France and Italy have expanded virus-related curbs amid a third wave of infections.

The head of the World Health Organization said recent increases in deaths and cases represent "truly worrying trends." A U.S. health agency said that AstraZeneca may have relied on outdated information in its latest coronavirus vaccine study.

In economic news, the manufacturing sector in Australia continued to expand in March, and at a slightly faster pace, the latest survey from Markit Economics showed with a manufacturing PMI score of 57.0.

That's up from 56.9 in February and it moves further above the boom-or-bust line of 50 that separates expansion from contraction.

The aussie dropped to a 1-1/2-month low of 0.7583 against the greenback and more than a 3-week low of 82.29 against the yen, off its early highs of 0.7634 and 82.92, respectively. Next key support for the aussie is likely seen around 0.72 against the greenback and 80.00 against the yen.

The aussie fell to near a 3-week low of 1.5608 against the euro and a 3-1/2-month low of 0.9556 against the loonie, from its prior highs of 1.5509 and 0.9605, respectively. The aussie is poised to find support around 1.57 against the euro and 0.94 against the loonie.

The kiwi weakened to a 4-month low of 0.6967 against the greenback and more than a 5-week low of 75.63 against the yen, after gaining to 0.7008 and 76.18, respectively in earlier deals. On the downside, 0.68 and 73.00 are possibly seen as its next support levels against the greenback and the yen, respectively.

The kiwi declined to near a 2-month low of 1.6984 against the euro and held steady thereafter. At yesterday's close, the pair was valued at 1.6921.

The kiwi edged down to 1.0901 versus the aussie from an early high of 1.0861. The kiwi is seen finding support around the 1.12 mark.

Looking ahead, PMI reports from major European economies are due in the European session.

U.S. durable goods orders for February will be featured in the New York session.

At 10:00 am ET, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will testify before the Senate Banking Committee on the CARES Act, along with Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, via satellite.