On Wall Street, futures for the Standard & Poor's 500 index declined 0.2% to 2,833 while the same for the Dow Jones industrial average also declined 0.2%, to 25,508.
Benchmarks in Shanghai and Tokyo closed higher as investors tried to figure out the costs of U.S. and Chinese tariff hikes on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other's goods.
Trump threw financial markets into turmoil with his surprise May 5 announcement of plans to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25% from 10%. When that went ahead Friday, Beijing retaliated by raising duties on $60 billion of American goods.
Investors worry that in addition to depressing trade, the fight sparked by U.S. complaints about China's technology ambitions might hurt consumer and business confidence, weakening spending and investment.
On Tuesday, some markets steadied after Trump said the conflict was a "little squabble" between friends.
Tokyo's Nikkei advanced 0.6% to 21,188.56 and Seoul's Kospi gained 0.5% to 2,092.78. Sydney's S&P-ASX 200 was 0.7% higher at 6,284.20 while India's Sensex gained 0.3% to 37,437.01. Taiwan and New Zealand advanced while Southeast Asian markets retreated.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 60 cents to $61.18 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 74 cents on Tuesday to close at $61.78. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 34 cents per barrel in London to $70.90. It jumped $1.01 the previous session to $71.24.
CURRENCY: The dollar slipped to 109.39 yen from Tuesday's 109.61 yen. The euro fell to $1.1183 from $1.1208.