Stocks climbed in the United States on Monday after President Trump ratcheted down the tension with China, calling President Xi Jinping a “great leader” and indicating that Chinese officials had reached out to resume talks to settle the trade dispute that has unnerved investors.
The gains were small, however, and followed a tumultuous stretch in which both Washington and Beijing had seemed to escalate the tension.
European markets started Monday lower, but moved into positive territory after President Trump said that he had received a call from China requesting to restart trade talks. That followed comments earlier in the day by a senior Chinese trade official who expressed Beijing’s willingness to talk further.
In Asia, where trading ended before Monday’s de-escalation, markets suffered steep losses, reflecting the trade turbulence earlier in the weekend.
Stocks in Hong Kong, where weekend clashes between the police and anti-government demonstrators grew increasingly violent, were down 1.9 percent late on Monday in Asia, leading a drop among major markets.
China’s currency weakened to an 11-year low against the American dollar, a threshold it has crossed with some frequency since Beijing allowed it to weaken past the psychologically important level of 7 renminbi to the dollar this month. The weakened renminbi indicates concern over the slowing of the Chinese economy, though it also helps Chinese factories because a weaker currency makes their goods more attractive in other countries.
The market moves followed a sharp decline on Friday as Wall Street notched its fourth weekly loss in a row, unsettled by the rapidly intensifying trade war between the United States and China. Business groups over the weekend warned of the risks to workers and companies if the tariff war spirals.
Given the escalating threats, growing numbers of experts do not foresee an end to the trade war until after next year’s elections in the United States.
“Going forward, it is not clear to us what may lead the U.S. administration to stop the escalation and try to reach a deal with China,” Tao Wang, the chief China economist for UBS, the Swiss bank, said in a note to investors on Monday. Ms. Wang cited the Trump administration’s sense that a tough stance with China is politically popular and could spur the Federal Reserve to keep interest rates low.
At a daily news conference on Monday, Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Beijing would not waver in the face of threats from Mr. Trump.
“We strongly urge the U.S. side not to misjudge the situation and to immediately stop its mistaken practices,” Mr. Geng said. “If the U.S. side carries out its tariff measures, China will continue to resolutely take measures to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests.”
Still, China was sending signals that it wants to talk. Also on Monday, Liu He, China’s top trade negotiator, told a business conference in the city of Chongqing that the government welcomed further talks.
“We are willing to resolve the issue through consultation and cooperation with a calm attitude,” he said, according to a transcript, “and we resolutely oppose the escalation of the trade war.”
The most recent round of intensification began on Friday, when Beijing announced plans to retaliate against Mr. Trump’s plan to impose more tariffs. Mr. Trump vowed to impose even more tariffs in return and told American businesses to leave China.
Speaking on Monday, Mr. Geng, of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said any call for American corporations to withdraw from China sounds “more like a political slogan than a practical measure.”
“Even if it happens,” Mr. Geng said, “there will naturally be others who will fill in the vacancies. In the end, it is the U.S. that will suffer the losses.”
On Sunday at the Group of 7 summit in France, Mr. Trump appeared to send mixed signals with the White House eventually saying the president’s “second thoughts” were that he hadn’t raised tariffs enough.
Mr. Trump has also unsettled investors by publicly criticizing the Federal Reserve’s top official. Early in Friday’s trading day, investors had found reassurance in a speech by Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, who said that the Fed remained willing to cut interest rates to keep the economy growing. But he also suggested that central bank policies could only do so much to counteract Mr. Trump’s trade policies.
That angered the president, who wrote a swift response on Twitter: “My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?” In another tweet, Mr. Trump said American companies were “hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China.” Stocks slid for the rest of the day.
And after the market closed, Mr. Trump said he would increase existing tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods to 30 percent from 25 percent, beginning Oct. 1. He also said the United States would tax a further $300 billion in Chinese imports at a rate of 15 percent, rather than the 10 percent he had initially planned to go into effect in September.
The trade war has weighed on stocks in the last month. As recently as July 26, the S&P 500 was up almost 21 percent for the year. But after four weeks of losses, investors are holding a more modest 13.6 percent gain.
Hong Kong shares moderated their losses through the day, and it closed 1.9 percent lower. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index ended 2.2 percent lower.
China’s Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.2 percent, while South Korea’s Kospi index ended 1.6 percent lower.
In France, the CAC 40 index gained 0.45 percent, while Germany’s DAX gained 0.4 percent. In Britain, markets were closed for a holiday.
The renminbi was trading within China just under 7.15 to the American dollar.