US dollar, stocks dip as Fed keeps taper timing close to chest



* Dow falls 0.4%, S&P flat, Nasdaq rebounds 0.7%

* European stocks boosted by upbeat earnings

* China blue-chip index closes up 0.2%

* Yuan edges back from three-month lows

* Dollar softens

By Koh Gui Qing

NEW YORK, July 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks and the dollar slipped on Wednesday in listless trade after the Federal Reserve gave no clue about when it might start reducing its purchases of government bonds, even as it said the economic recovery is on track.

The Fed said after its latest policy meeting ended on Wednesday that the economy has been strengthening despite a rise in coronavirus infections, and that accelerating inflation remained the result of "transitory factors."

At a news conference, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said it was not yet time to think about raising interest rates, and that while the Fed has begun discussing plans to taper its bond purchases, the exact timing will depend on incoming data.

"It was a relief that there was no talk of tapering quite yet," said Ryan Detrick, a senior market strategist at LPL Financial in North Carolina. "Our view is the Fed will likely announce when tapering will start at Jackson Hole later in August."

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 0.36%, the S&P 500 .SPX was flat, while the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite .IXIC rebounded 0.7% after hitting its lowest in more than two months on Tuesday.

Any sign the Fed may tighten policy sooner than expected could unnerve markets, since its loose policy has flushed the market with cash and pushed Wall Street to record highs. Also, some investors worry the fast-spreading Delta coronavirus variant may scupper economic growth, and hope the Fed will stand pat for now.

The lack of a clear taper timeline, while expected, dragged on the dollar nonetheless. The U.S. currency had a month-long rally as investors bet a strengthening economy would spark a Fed move to taper to quell inflation pressures.

The dollar index =USD fell 0.24%, and a weaker dollar boosted the euro EUR=EBS up 0.28% to $1.185.

Treasury yields initially climbed after the Fed meeting, but pulled back later. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes US10YT=RR was down 0.3 basis points to 1.231%, and the yield on 10-year Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities US10YTIP=RR climbed as high as -0.917%, before pulling back to -1.171%.

The Fed meeting aside, investor risk appetite also got a boost from signs that China's stock market might finally be steadying, after being hammered this week by concerns of a widening regulatory crackdown.

Following two sessions of falls, the pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX rose 0.66% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS gained 0.38%.

Chinese blue chips .CSI30 closed up 0.2% overnight, and Hong Kong's benchmark .HSI jumped 1.5%, but remained near nine-month lows.

The Chinese yuan CNY= also edged back from three-month lows. On Tuesday, it had its biggest daily decline since October. The offshore Chinese yuan CNH= strengthened versus the greenback at 6.4894 per dollar.

Cryptocurrency Bitcoin BTC=BTSP also bounced back above $40,000, jumping 2.4% to $40,428.38.

Firmer risk appetites did not dent demand for safe-haven gold, which held steady near $1,800.

Spot gold XAU= added 0.2% to $1,802.81 an ounce. U.S. gold futures GCc1 gained 0.06% to $1,800.80 an ounce.

Oil prices received a fillip after data showed U.S. crude inventories fell more sharply than analysts had forecast, overshadowing worries that a resurgent pandemic might hit demand.

U.S. crude CLc1 added 0.8% to $72.25 per barrel and Brent LCOc1 climbed 0.17% to $74.61.



World FX rates YTD Link
Global asset performance Link
Asian stock markets Link
Chinese stocks in U.S. take a beating Link



Reporting by Koh Gui Qing in New York, Tom Arnold in London
and Alun John in Hong Kong; Additional reporting by Sujata Rao;
Editing by David Gregorio and Alistair Bell



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