It only took a small taste of what a US recession might be like for President Donald Trump to suggest that he wants a trade deal with China after all. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 800 points in its worst rout of the year on Wednesday after the gap between the two-year and 10-year US Treasury yields turned negative for the first time since 2007. An inverted yield curve has preceded the past seven recessions in the US. Ever sensitive to stock movements, the president tried to calm the markets after the close. Abandoning his hawkish trade rhetoric, Trump extended an olive branch to Chinese President Xi Jinping in a series of tweets, calling him a "great leader" and a "good man". He ended his posts with "Personal meeting?", without specifying whether he was proposing a summit.

The question is how Xi will respond to Trump's overture. Who's more desperate for a trade deal right now?

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