U.S. stocks capped a fourth day of losses, though finished well off the lows of the day, while the Japanese Yen strengthened versus the dollar as investors assessed the likelihood of fresh tariffs just hours before they are due to take effect. The yuan fell to its weakest since January. The S&P 500 is on pace for its worst week of the year after another trade-fomented decline. The bellwether had slumped as much as 1.5% before Trump said he received a “beautiful letter” from Chinese President Xi Jinping and that the two leaders would probably speak by phone. Talks began in Washington at 5 p.m. The gap between 3-month and 10-year Treasury rates briefly turned negative, traditionally a recession warning. Trade discussions will resume hours after concerns flared again about the strength of the Chinese economy — the country’s credit growth slowed in April to a level below all 27 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Beijing has warned it will retaliate should the U.S. hike tariffs as advertised on Friday. Meanwhile, simmering geopolitical tension elsewhere — from North Korea testing missiles again to renewed stress between America and Iran — added to the gloomy mood.
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