U.S. equity indices suffered heavy declines on Wednesday, weighed down by a report on inflation published before the opening, which showed persistent inflationary pressures likely to put off the prospect of a rate cut by the Fed.

Thus, the Dow Jones ended the session with a loss of 1.1% at 38,461, while the S&P500 dropped more than 0.9% to just under 5,161 and the Nasdaq Composite gave up more than 0.8% at 16.170.

According to the Labor Department, the US consumer price index rose at an annual rate of 3.5% in March, up 0.3 points on February, and still up 3.8% on an underlying basis.

'Inflationary pressure remains high in the US', noted Commerzbank, pointing out that 'once again, service prices in particular have risen, reflecting rising wage costs'.

The data suggest that the Federal Reserve will remain on the sidelines for the time being and postpone the first rate cut until after the middle of the year, especially as the economy continues to grow strongly", continued the German bank.

In other stock news, Delta Airlines was down 2.3% despite reporting earnings and revenues at the top end of the airline's guidance range for the first three months of the year.

Macy's gained 2.5%, following an agreement with Arkhouse to withdraw the latter's requested appointments to its board of directors, notably allowing CEO Tony Spring to take over as chairman of the board.

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