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US: Stocks fall on inflation data, lower oil


[NEW YORK] Wall Street stocks fell in opening trade Friday as oil prices retreated and US inflation data boosted the odds of another Federal Reserve interest rate hike this year.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 16,361.55, down 51.88 points (0.32 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 fell 7.37 (0.38 per cent) to 1,910.46, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 10.84 (0.24 per cent) to 4,476.69.

US oil prices fell to US$29.64 a barrel in New York amid continuing doubts that the tentative Russia-Saudi deal to freeze output will reduce the crude glut anytime soon.

Labour Department data showed flat US consumer prices in January, but a pickup of 0.3 per cent in core inflation when volatile food and energy prices were stripped out.

Analysts said the numbers, stronger than expected, added support to the Federal Reserve's track for slowly tightening monetary policy this year, even as other major central banks cut rates to stimulate growth.