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US STOCKS-Futures hold steady with Fed meeting in focus

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* Futures: Dow flat, S&P up 0.06%, Nasdaq rises 0.12%

June 15 (Reuters) - Futures tied to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq held near record highs on Tuesday as investors looked for comments from the Federal Reserve about whether a recent jump in inflation would prompt a sooner-than-expected tapering in monetary policy.

Assurance from the Fed that rising prices are transitory coupled with falling U.S. Treasury yields have helped ease some concerns over inflation but investors remain cautious as they await the Fed’s commentary on its inflation stance.

The benchmark S&P 500, the blue-chip Dow Jones and the tech-stocks focused Nasdaq have gained 13.3%, 12.3% and 10%, respectively so far this year as investors tried to find their ground between inflation concerns and optimism about an economic reopening.

The Fed is likely to announce in August or September a strategy for reducing its massive bond buying program, but won’t start cutting monthly purchases until early next year, a Reuters poll of economists found.

At 6:50 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 10 points, or 0.03%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 2.75 points, or 0.06%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 16.75 points, or 0.12%.

In a new policy statement and economic projections due on Wednesday, the U.S. central bank is expected to point to continued strength in the economy and acknowledge the first conversations among its policymakers about when and how fast to pare back the massive bond-buying program.

In corporate news, Biogen Inc fell 0.9% in premarket trading after the drugmaker’s potential therapy for choroideremia, an inherited disease that leads to vision loss, did not meet the main goal in a late-stage study.

Later in the day, investors would turn to purchaser price numbers and retail sales data to assess the state of the economy and inflation levels. (Reporting by Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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