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Wall St ends lower amid inflation concerns

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US stocks have ended sharply lower in a broad decline led by Nasdaq as investors grew cautious ahead of data on Friday that is expected to show consumer prices remained high in May.

All 11 of the S&P 500 sectors were in negative territory, with the communication services sector down the most.

Adding to nervousness, the benchmark US 10-year Treasury yield climbed to as much as 3.073 per cent, its highest level since May 11.

Recent sharp gains in oil prices also kept investors on edge before Friday's US consumer price index report.

The data is expected to show that consumer prices rose 0.7 per cent in May while the core consumer price index (CPI), which excludes the volatile food and energy sectors, rose 0.5 per cent in the month.

"We're getting prepared for what the news might be regarding inflation tomorrow," said Peter Tuz, president of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"I view it as mixed. If the total is high and the core number shows some sort of drop, I actually think the markets could rally on that because it'll show that things are kind of rolling over a bit."

The S&P 500 lost 98.07 points, or 2.38 per cent, to end at 4,017.70 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 332.49 points, or 2.75 per cent, to 11,753.78 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 640.45 points, or 1.95 per cent, to 32,270.45.

Investors have worried that rising inflation could keep the Federal Reserve on an aggressive path in hiking interest rates.

The US central bank has raised its short-term interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point this year and intends to keep at it with 50 basis points increases at its meeting next week and again in July.

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