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Asia-Pacific markets fall after U.S. inflation rises faster than expected

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SINGAPORE — Futures in Asia-Pacific are poised to open lower Thursday after a hotter-than-expected inflation report in the U.S.

The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 26,405 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 26,470. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 26,478.77.

In Australia, SPI futures were at 6,515, lower than the S&P/ASX 200‘s last close at 6,621.6.

Consumer prices rose 9.1% from a year ago, above the 8.8% Dow Jones estimate. That’s the fastest pace since November 1981, and investors are concerned about how aggressive the Fed will have to be to fight rising prices.

Already, two Wall Street firms are speculating that the Fed could go for a 100-basis-point rate hike this month, which Canada’s central bank did on Wednesday.

Overnight in the U.S., stocks declined following the inflation report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 208.54 points, or 0.67%, to 30,772.79, while the S&P 500 slid 0.45% to 3,801.78. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.15% to close at 11,247.58.

The yield curve inversion in U.S. Treasurys, seen as a recession signal, widened on Wednesday stateside. The 2-year yield last stood at 3.1485%, higher than 2.9355% for the 10-year note. Yields move inversely to prices.

In economic data, Singapore will release its advance GDP estimates for the second quarter on Thursday and Australia will report unemployment data.

Taiwan’s chipmaker TSMC and Japan’s Fast Retailing are due to report earnings Thursday as well.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, slipped below 108 and was last at 107.957.

The Japanese yen traded at 137.53 per dollar, and the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6742.

— CNBC’s Jeff Cox and Yun Li contributed to this report.

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