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US consumer inflation slows in November

As expected, the improvement in US consumer inflation slowed in November, with the annual rate dipping to 3.1% from 3.2% after a 0.1% rise in the month.

The month-to-month rise was a bit of a surprise, as economists had forecast no change.

The report followed data last Friday showing job gains accelerated in November to 199,000 from 150,000 in October, and the unemployment rate fell to 3.7% from nearly a two-year high of 3.9% in October.

The data came out as the Fed started its last meeting for 2023, which will see a fresh set of quarterly economic projections, including the dot plot and its forecast for where Fed members see rates heading in 2024 and 2025.

Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the CPI was up 0.3% in November after climbing 0.2% in the prior month. The so-called core CPI was lifted by a rebound in prices of used cars and trucks.

The news saw stocks rise, gold edge higher, but oil slumped more than 4% to around $US68 for US crude.

US bond yields eased, with the 10-year yield back to 4.20%, while the US dollar also eased, but left the Aussie dollar around 65.60 US cents.

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