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U.S. CPI rises by slower-than-expected 4.9% in April -- U.S. inflation slowed marginally in April, while the gauge of core prices closely watched by the Federal Reserve decelerated slightly but remained stubbornly elevated.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Wednesday, the U.S. consumer price index in April rose 4.9% on an annualized basis. Economists had expected the number to hold steady at the 5% level registered in March.

Meanwhile, the core reading, which strips out volatile items like food and energy, moved up by 5.5% year-on-year, slowing slightly from 5.6% in March. On a month-on-month basis, both the headline inflation and the core figure increased by 0.4%.

The numbers were still well above the Fed's desired rate of around 2% to achieve stable and sustainable growth, even though the central bank has embarked on a long-running campaign of borrowing cost hikes aimed at corraling price growth. Following a 25 basis point hike last week, the Fed's benchmark rate now stands at a range of between 5% to 5.25%, up from near-zero at the beginning of 2022.

The Fed has hinted that it may push pause on the tightening campaign at its next meeting in June, although Chair Jerome Powell noted that it is "prepared to do more" if further policy restraint is necessary.

Investors will have a chance to further flesh out the inflation picture when the latest producer price index is released on Thursday.

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