U.S. stock index futures jumped after the latest inflation reading for April was tamer than feared. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 63 points, or 0.2%, while S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq-100 futures each jumped more than 0.3%. April consumer prices increased 4.9% from a year ago, that was less than the 5% annual increase expected by economists polled by Dow Jones. Treasury yields tumbled following the report, further supporting a stock market which has been worriedd about higher rates snuffing out economic growth. Shares of tech stocks like Alphabet, Nvidia and Tesla gained in the premarket. Airbnb and Twilio fell 13% and 16%, respectively, on weak forecasts. Electric vehicle maker Rivian popped 6% on a narrower-than-expected loss. Earnings season continues Wednesday with results from Disney and Robinhood. The major averages finished Tuesday’s session lower, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite falling 0.46% and 0.63%, respectively. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.17%. Wall Street monitored the latest updates on the U.S. debt ceiling as worries mount that failing to reach a resolution before the June 1 deadline could lead to default. President Joe Biden held a key meeting with congressional leaders after the bell Tuesday, but comments from leadership on both sides of the aisle suggested that little progress was made. Asia-Pacific markets fell on Wednesday as investors look ahead to U.S. inflation figures for clues on the path ahead for inflation and by extension, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s moves. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.12% to close at 7,255.7 after the country delivered its budget Tuesday night. Australia saw its first budget surplus since 2008. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was 0.41% down to end the day at 29,122.18, and the Topix also fell 0.55% to finish at 2,085.91. South Korea’s Kospi moved down 0.55% to close at 2,496.51 and the Kosdaq also closed 0.73% down at 829.74, even as the country saw its unemployment rate inch down to 2.6% in April. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index extended its Tuesday losses as it slid 0.45%, while markets on mainland China were trading mixed. The Shanghai Composite fell 1.15% to close at 3,319.15, while the Shenzhen Component was the only outlier in the region and gained 0.13% to end at 11,140.19. Oil prices fell on Wednesday, ending a three-day rally as an unexpected rise in U.S. oil inventories sparked demand concerns and investors awaited inflation data for a steer on U.S. interest rates. Brent crude dropped 86 cents, or 1.11%, to $76.58 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 88 cents, or 1.19%, to $72.83. Gold prices eased on Wednesday, after rising in the previous two sessions, as investors positioned for April U.S. inflation data, which could have a bearing on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy. Spot gold was last down 0.15% to $2,031.22 per ounce at 1000 GMT, while U.S. gold futures shed 0.23% to $2,038.30.
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