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The U.S. consumer price index surged 8.3% in April as compared with a year ago — near the highest level in more than 40 years, official data showed Wednesday, . The April reading, which represented a slight ease from March’s peak, was also above the Dow Jones estimate for a 8.1% gain.

Shares on Wall Street dropped following the release of the U.S. consumer inflation data. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lagged as it fell 3.18% to 11,364.24 while the broader S&P 500 shed 1.65% to 3,935.18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 326.63 points, or 1.02%, to 31,834.11.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 104.015 as it continues to hold above the 103.8 level that it fell below at certain points earlier this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 129.70 per dollar, stronger as compared with levels above 130.5 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.6925 after a recent decline from levels above $0.70.

— CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

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