* U.S., European, Asian stocks decline
* Fed pledges low rates until 2023 but no new stimulus
* Graphic: 2020 asset performance http://tmsnrt.rs/2yaDPgn
* Graphic: World FX rates in 2020 http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh
NEW YORK, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Global equity markets slid and
the dollar eased on Thursday after the Federal Reserve reminded
investors of an economy whose poor health was reinforced by data
showing persistently high claims for U.S. unemployment benefits.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday made clear the U.S.
labor market has a long way to go to meet the central bank's
maximum employment goal and that its tools to achieve that were
limited - dashing hopes of further stimulus.
The safe-haven yen hit a seven-week high against the dollar
and a 1-1/2-month peak versus the euro as euro zone government
bond yields dipped after the Bank of England said it was looking
at possibly cutting interest rates to below zero.
Wall Street's main indexes tumbled as the technology sector
and related stocks slid further, with Apple Inc and
Amazon.com Inc among the biggest drags on both the
Nasdaq and S&P 500.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment
benefits fell less than expected last week and applications for
the prior period were revised up, suggesting the labor market
recovery had shifted into low gear amid fading fiscal stimulus.
The Fed is doing all it can without appearing to be in panic
mode, said Rick Meckler, a partner at Cherry Lane Investments, a
family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey.
Investors face few alternatives other than stocks so some
are taking profits ahead of the U.S. presidential election in
November from this year's unexpected rally after the coronavirus
pandemic pushed economies into recession, he said.
"The Fed has been the most predictable part of the U.S.
government. They did exactly what they told you they were going
to do, they've been doing exactly what they said they were going
to do now for well over a year," Meckler said.
"If there's more stimulation to come it's going to have to
come from Congress and the president, and on that front we seem
probably stymied until the election."
MSCI's global benchmark for equity markets
fell 1.05% to 568.94, while its emerging markets index
In Europe, the broad FTSEurofirst 300 index closed
down 0.52% at 1,438.61 and on Wall Street the Dow Jones
Industrial Average fell 0.87%, the S&P 500 lost
1.31% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.8%.
Banks reeled from the prospect of near-zero interest rates
for a prolonged period, with the European banking index
falling 1.6% while the S&P 500 financials index slipped
Overnight in Asia, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific
shares outside Japan lost 1% after five straight
days of gains while the Nikkei in Japan and KOPSI in
South Korea shed 0.6%. and 1.2%, respectively.
The stronger dollar inflicted some damage in emerging
markets too. Turkey's battered lira hit its latest record low
, Argentina announced new capital controls just weeks
after its ninth debt restructuring, and there was a
third straight day of falls for eastern European currencies.
The dollar index fell 0.243%, with the euro up
0.22% to $1.184.
The Japanese yen strengthened 0.24% versus the
greenback at 104.68 per dollar.
Oil rose 2% as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries and its allies said it would crack down on countries
that fail to comply with output cuts and that it planned an
extraordinary meeting in October if crude prices weaken further.
Brent crude futures added $1.08 to settle at $43.30
a barrel. U.S. crude futures settled up 81 cents at
$40.97 a barrel.
Spot gold prices fell 0.81% to $1,943.53 an ounce
while U.S. gold futures settled down 1.1% to $1,949.90.
(Reporting by Herbert Lash; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and David