Stock futures fell Wednesday morning after March inflation data came in hotter than expected. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 339 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures fell 0.2% each. The March reading on the consumer price index came above economists’ expectations. Economists polled by Dow Jones had forecasted an increase of 0.3% month over month and 3.4% year on year. Economists expect core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, to rise 0.3% and 3.7%, respectively. Traders are looking to the CPI data for clues on how central bank policymakers may proceed on interest rates — and the outcome is sure to affect Wednesday’s market moves. Fed funds futures trading data suggests a 46% likelihood that the central bank will hold steady on rates in June, according to the CME FedWatch Tool. A hotter-than-expected inflation reading could lead to a serious pullback after the market’s run-up this year, while a cooler print could lead Treasury yields to pull back and lift the equity market, according to Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist at LPL Financial. “The market is increasingly concerned that inflation remains more stubborn, or perhaps even stalled in its downward trajectory,” Krosby said. “There’s a whiff of stagflation hovering over markets if the Fed goes ahead with initiating the easing cycle without inflation quickening its downward path.” In addition to the big inflation report on Wednesday, investors are also looking forward to the meeting minutes from the Fed’s gathering last month. They will be hunting for clues on where policymakers stand on expected rate cuts this year. U.S. Treasury yields jumped Wednesday as investors digested the latest U.S. consumer inflation data that came in stronger than expected. The 10-year Treasury yield surged 11 basis points to 4.477%. The yield on the 2-year Treasury was last at 4.884% after climbing more than 13 basis points. Asia-Pacific markets mostly fell as of Japan’s corporate inflation climbed in March and rate decisions are assessed from New Zealand and Thailand’s central banks. South Korea’s markets are closed Wednesday, as the country heads to the polls to elect its next parliament. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 1.75%, while mainland China’s CSI 300 slid for a fifth straight day, falling 0.81% and ending at 3,504.7. Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.48% to 39,581.81, while the broad based Topix was down 0.43% and closed at 2,742.79. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 marked a third straight day of gains, climbing 0.31% and ending at 7,848.5. Crude oil futures rose Wednesday after two days of losses as Israel threatened to attack Iran if the Islamic Republic strikes Israel directly. The West Texas Intermediate contract for May delivery gained 61 cents, or 0.72%, to $85.85 a barrel. June Brent futures added 61 cents, or 0.68%, to $90.03 a barrel. Israel warned OPEC member Iran Wednesday it would attack the Islamic Republic if Tehran strikes Israel. Gold prices held steady on Wednesday near a record peak hit in the previous session, as a favourable mix of emerging inflationary risks and ongoing geopolitical tensions underpinned the safe-haven metal. Spot gold was little changed at $2,351.94 per ounce, as of 0339 GMT, after hitting a record high of $2,365.09 on Tuesday. U.S. gold futures gained 0.3% to $2,369.90.