There is a strong focus on trade as China and the U.S. continue holding talks. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he could be tempted to push back the March 1 deadline for reaching a trade agreement with China if the two sides were close to a deal.
The South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday that Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with U.S. delegates on Friday as both sides try to strike a deal. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will reportedly be in attendance. Failure to achieve an agreement would spark higher U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.
The latest report on consumer prices in the United States showed that consumers faced stagnant costs for the third straight month in January. The unchanged print contributed to the smallest annual increase in inflation in more than 1.5 years, which could encourage the Federal Reserve to hold interest rates steady.
The Labor Department said on Wednesday its Consumer Price Index last month was held down by cheaper gasoline, which offset increases in the cost of food and rents.