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U.S. INFLATION, LABOR MARKET DATA BOLSTER FED DECEMBER RATE HIKE


U.S. consumer prices recorded their biggest increase in six months in October on rising gasoline costs and rents, suggesting a pickup in inflation that potentially clears the way for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in December. Prospects for a rate hike next month also got a boost from other data on Thursday showing first-time applications for unemployment benefits tumbling to a 43-year low last week and housing starts surging to a nine-year high in October. The reports painted an upbeat picture of the economy early in the fourth quarter and came as Fed Chair Janet Yellen told lawmakers that the U.S. central bank could lift borrowing costs "relatively soon."

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