Oil prices sank and Brent futures finished their first negative week since mid-January after an unexpected dip in U.S. industrial production spurred concerns about lagging economic activity.
Gold tumbled to a six-month low on Friday, breaking through technical support near $1,630 an ounce, as the euro weakened against the dollar ahead of a G-20 meeting.
Despite fundamentals that should be contributing to a strong rally, gold is clearly losing steam. A slow decline that began late last year is quickly snowballing into a sell off.
Investors who fled in fear over potentially massive tax increases associated with the "fiscal cliff" have barely broken a sweat over corresponding spending cuts.
European shares nudged lower on Friday, though strategists reckoned that any dips in the equity markets should be seen as a buying opportunity.
Recent reports of prominent investors shying away from junk bonds have intensified the debate of whether 2013 will be another year of outperformance for the much sought after asset class.
Japan's Nikkei extended losses on Friday on news that a conservative may be the leading candidate to head the Bank of Japan while Australian and South Korean shares ended a range-bound session relatively flat, weighed down by weak euro zone growth.
Notable institutional investors, including George Soros, Julian Robertson and Allianz's PIMCO reduced their bets on gold during the fourth quarter of 2012, when bullion posted its biggest quarterly loss in more than four years.
The price of Brent Crude oil is set to fall 30 percent to $80 per barrel by the end of the year, according to Robert Levitt, CEO and founder of U.S. wealth manager Levitt Capital Management.
With animal spirits on the rise, companies armed with cheap financing are fueling a new merger wave, but that's not likely to do much for markets.
U.S. Treasurys yields slid from 10-month highs on Thursday after disappointing growth data from the euro zone spooked investors into pouring money into perceived safe havens.
The euro tumbled to a three-week low against the dollar and plunged against the yen Thursday after data painted a dismal picture of the euro zone's economy, increasing the likelihood of ECB action.
Oil prices rose, as fears about gasoline supply and Iran's nuclear program pulled the complex higher, outweighing concerns of weakening economic output in the euro zone.
Gold fell to a six-week low on renewed economic worries over the euro zone, which weighed down on bullion's inflation-hedge appeal.
European shares ended lower on Thursday after investor sentiment was hit by weak regional growth data.
U.S. stock index futures shaved some losses Thursday after a better-than-expected jobless claims report and a batch of M&A announcements, but a disappointing reading on the European economy put a damper on gains.
Asian stock markets climbed higher on Thursday led by Australian shares, which hit a four-year high on strong corporate earnings. Risk sentiment was also boosted by firm gains in Japan and Hong Kong ahead of a weekend meeting of G20 central bank officials.
Central banks scooped up more gold in 2012 than they have annually in nearly half a century as they sought to diversify reserves, the World Gold Council (WGC) said on Thursday.
Some of the world's most sophisticated credit investors have been ramping up their bets against junk bonds even as retail investors have been pouring money into the asset class. These investors began paring their junk-bond holdings during late 2012. The Financial Times reports.
Stocks could continue their sideways drift, as investors watch a few big earnings, jobless claims and an anticipated merger agreement for American Airlines.
Get the best of CNBC in your inbox