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NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks opened lower Thursday, extending a pullback as the European Central Bank moved to tighten monetary policy in response to inflation.

The ECB said it would end its massive bond-buying stimulus as of July 1 and begin hiking interest rates on July 21, joining the growing number of central banks to cease easy-money policies due to pricing pressures.

US stocks fall on World Bank forecast, weak Target outlook

“High inflation is a major challenge for all of us,” the ECB said in a statement.

The move comes ahead of a key US report Friday on consumer prices that is expected to keep the Federal Reserve on track for additional rate hikes.

About 10 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.4 percent at 32,785.97.

The broad-based S&P 500 dropped 0.5 percent to 4,096.38, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index shed 0.7 percent to 11,999.31.

Among individual companies, Target was flat as it announced a 20 percent boost in its investor dividend. The move comes two days after the retailer slashed its profit outlook in anticipation of liquidating excess merchandise.

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