Gold rose nearly 1 percent to a two-month high on Friday, and bullion posted its biggest weekly gain in five weeks as disappointing U.S. data dimmed hopes for a swift economic recovery.
U.S. Treasurys prices slid on Friday, marking the worst week in two months due to persistent fears the Federal Reserve will pare its bond purchases in September as the economy has showed signs of further improvement.
European shares closed higher on Friday after a weak start to the day, despite continued market worries about the end of the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program.
U.S. stock index futures held their modest gains Friday following the housing starts report and after major averages logged their biggest drop since June.
China's benchmark index reversed course for a second time on Friday to close down 0.6 percent following an earlier spike of 5.6 percent that propelled the index to two-and-a-half-month highs.
The dollar fell broadly on Thursday after reversing earlier gains that sent it up against the euro and yen amid a cross-current of economic data that muddied the view on when the U.S. Federal Reserve will start trimming stimulus measures.
Benchmark U.S. Treasurys yields jumped to two-year highs on Thursday as encouraging jobless claims data reinforced the view that the Federal Reserve is close to scaling back its bond purchases, spurring investors to reduce their debt holdings.
Gold rose to a near two-month high on Thursday, gaining nearly 2.5 percent as a drop in the U.S. dollar triggered short-covering and a technical breakout once prices breached key resistance at $1,350 an ounce.
Oil prices rose on fears that escalating violence in Egypt could affect the Suez Canal or spread across the Middle East, where supplies already face disruptions.
European shares closed sharply lower on Thursday after two different U.S. economic reports were released and as U.S. indexes saw their biggest one-day drops since June.
U.S. stock index futures added to their losses across the board Thursday following a mixed batch of economic reports and as investors continued to gauge when the Federal Reserve might start to reduce its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases.
Japan's benchmark index dropped over 2 percent on Thursday while the tone in the rest of Asian stocks was subdued as traders try to gauge when the U.S. Federal Reserve will start tapering its stimulus program.
The euro was little changed against the dollar on Wednesday after data showed the euro zone had emerged in the second quarter from its longest recession to date.
Stocks slumped on Wednesday as the market continued to gauge when the Federal Reserve might start to reduce its bond purchases. Apple was a standout as some big investors took stakes in the smartphone maker.
Crude prices staged a late day rally amid concerns over Middle East supply disruptions and a reduction in U.S. oil stockpiles, which provided support.
Gold settled 1 percent higher on Wednesday, as broad gains in the commodities complex and signs of simmering inflation lifted bullion after the previous day's drop.
U.S. stock index futures signaled a narrowly higher open on Wednesday, as shares in Europe traded mixed after Tuesday's robust data from the U.S.
Asian equity markets ended mixed in thin trade on Wednesday after strong global economic data triggered fears of an early end to U.S. stimulus.
The dollar climbed to a one-week high against both the euro and the yen on Tuesday after a key gauge of U.S. consumer spending rose at its fastest pace in seven months.
Stocks finished higher Tuesday, rebounding after Atlanta Federal Reserve President Dennis Lockhart downplayed the notion that the central bank would begin winding down its bond-buying program at its September meeting.
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