Further signs of disagreement in the U.S. Federal Reserve emerged, with three presidents of regional banks expressing concern that more stimulus may be needed if inflation edges much below the 2% target rate. "The Fed is missing its dual mandate on both sides -- unemployment is too high, and inflation is too low. This simply makes it more likely the Fed will stick with the program for a while, and talk of scaling back [bond buying] this summer is diminishing, partly because of the inflation data," said Josh Feinman, New York-based global chief economist for DB Advisors.

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