Russian stocks undermined by tensions between United States and N.Korea

"European shares are trading once again lower. continuing their slide on the back of ever more increasing tensions between North Korea and the USA", added analyst Markus Huber at City of London Markets.

In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 204.69 points to 21,844.01, while the S&P 500 index dropped 35.81 points to 2,438.21 and the Nasdaq composite index slid 135.46 points to 6,216.87.

Keeping up his tough talk, U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's government should "get their act together" or face the consequences, and suggested that his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea was too mild.

In the first four days of the week, the Standard & Poor's 500 index swung from marking its latest record high to posting its biggest single-day drop in almost three months. Its rouble-based peer MICEX shed 1.2 percent to 1,937 points, its lowest since August 1.

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The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index fell 143.08 points to 15,074.25, with almost all of its sectors moving lower. The Korean won fell against the USA dollar. "I think a few investors are capitulating to it". The Nasdaq added 39.68 points, or 0.6 percent, to 6,256.56.

The recovery fit a recent pattern of investors using dips to put more money in stocks.

Materials, home to gold producers and other resource-based companies, was the only gainer among the index's 10 main sectors and was up 0.6 percent.

In Europe, Britain's FTSE 100 was down 1.1 percent to 7,306, while France's CAC 40 fell 1.1 percent to 5,058. Bond and gold prices, traditional havens for nervous investors, were little changed, and the VIX, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, fell 3.3 percent following a 44.4 percent jump the day before.

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Investors also drew some encouragement from new government data showing USA inflation at the consumer level inched higher last month.

Helping offset the geopolitical tensions was weaker-than-expected consumer price data for July, pointing to benign inflation that could make the Federal Reserve cautious about raising interest rates again this year.

"This inflation data for the month was not good". The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 2.22 percent from 2.26 percent late Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained 29 cents to $52.43 in London.

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