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US markets end lower as investors focus on US-China trade

The US markets ended lower on Wednesday as investors continued to focus on US-China trade. The US-China trade conflict largely took a back seat to President Donald Trump's threatened tariffs on Mexico but has moved back into the spotlight ahead of the G20 summit later this month. Trump suggested he has no interest in negotiating unless China agrees to come back to the table to discuss previous terms of a deal he has claimed was nearly complete. Trump said he expects to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit and has warned that he will impose new tariffs on Chinese goods if his counterpart does not attend.

However, downside remained capped with report showing tame inflation has further fueled expectations that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates in the near future. The Labor Department said its consumer price index inched up by 0.1% in May after rising by 0.3% in April. The uptick in prices matched Street estimates. Excluding food and energy prices, core consumer prices also edged up by 0.1% for the fourth consecutive month. Street had expected core prices to rise by 0.2%. The report also showed a slowdown in the annual rate of consumer price growth, with the headline index up by 1.8% year-over-year in May compared to the 2.0% increase in April. The annual rate of core consumer price growth also slowed to 2.0% in May from 2.1% in the previous month.

Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 43.68 points or 0.17 percent to 26004.83, Nasdaq fell 29.85 points or 0.38 percent to 7792.72 and S&P 500 was down by 5.88 points or 0.20 percent to 2879.84.

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