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US STOCKS-Wall Street closes lower after Fed minutes, crypto fall

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May 19 (Reuters) - Wall Street’s main indexes closed lower on Wednesday after minutes from an April Federal Reserve meeting showed participants agreed the U.S. economy remained far from the central bank’s goals, with some eyeing a future discussion of tapering its bond buying program.

“There continues to be a view and a perspective from the participants, as well as the Fed staff that these inflationary pressures that are beginning to become evident will remain transitory in their view and will likely recede as we transition into 2022,” said Bill Northey, senior investment director at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

Strong inflation readings and signs of a worker shortage in recent weeks have fueled fears and roiled stock markets despite reassurances from Fed officials that the rise in prices would be temporary.

All three main indexes hit their session lows in morning trade, after opening sharply lower at the open, then partially recovered before the release of the Fed minutes pressured them anew.

Unofficially, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 163.11 points, or 0.48%, to 33,897.55, the S&P 500 lost 11.87 points, or 0.29%, to 4,115.96 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 3.90 points, or 0.03%, to 13,299.74.

Contributing to a risk off mood on Wednesday, Bitcoin and ether were on track to post their largest one-day loss since March last year, in the wake of China’s move to ban financial and payment institutions from providing cryptocurrency services.

Crypto-exchange operator Coinbase Global ,miners Riot Blockchain and Marathon Digital Holdings saw their shares sharply decline on Wednesday. (Reporting by Echo Wang in New York; Additional reporting by Noel Randewich in San Francisco; Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty Maju Samuel and Aurora Ellis)

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