Downward trend for CPI 'firmly in place' -analyst

STORY: The highly awaited inflation report from the Labor Department on Thursday is expected to show U.S. consumer prices likely grew 6.5% year-on-year in December, moderating from a 7.1% rise in November.

Markets are hoping that the Federal Reserve could soon pause its rate hiking cycle, though recent comments by some policymakers have supported the view that the Fed needs to remain aggressive in raising interest rates to fight inflation.