Gold rebounded to settle at $1,395 an ounce as strong buying of coins and bars continued, primarily in Asia, but prices were still on course for a fourth week of losses after a brutal sell-off.
Asian stocks reversed earlier losses on Friday led by a 2 percent rally in Shanghai as investors cheered news that the yuan's trading band may be widened, which offset bearish sentiment triggered by weak U.S economic data.
The euro edged higher against the dollar as more signals of a weakening U.S. economic recovery lifted it from its biggest daily drop in 10 months in the previous session.
Brent crude oil jumped by more than a dollar to trade above $99 a barrel, snapping a six-session losing streak, with dealers saying it looked oversold after losing 10 percent this month.
Prices for U.S. Treasurys gained on Thursday as lukewarm data pointed to a long slog of a recovery in the world's biggest economy, fueling bids for safe-haven investments.
Gold rallied to end at $1,392 after volatile Asian trade saw prices slide towards two-year lows hit earlier in the week, with strong physical buying set against exits from exchange-traded funds.
European shares closed mixed on Thursday, after a rally in technology shares was curbed when Nokia released disappointing earnings. Yet more weak U.S. data also weighed on investor sentiment.
U.S. stock index futures signaled a higher open on Thursday as European shares rebounded after the previous session's sharp losses and investors awaited weekly jobless claims data.
Asian stocks closed at session lows on Thursday with most major indices losing over 1 percent as technology and resource plays were sold off on concerns of sluggish economic growth.
A sell-off in China's stock market has not put of market bulls, who forecast gains of up to 15 percent in the coming months.
As worries over the outlook for the global economy resurface, analysts tell CNBC that Asia can take comfort from one fact – the sharp fall in oil prices.
Weekly jobless claims will be more important than usual for markets Thursday, after an uneven series of claims reports this month and a surprisingly weak March employment report.
Oil prices have cascaded lower in the global commodities rout and may still have further to go before finding a floor, analysts say.
Stocks closed sharply lower across the board Wednesday, with all key S&P sectors in the red, following a batch of weaker-than-expected earnings and as commodities resumed their selloff amid ongoing worries over global growth.
The euro suffered its biggest daily decline against the dollar in nearly a year on Wednesday, weakened by talk of a euro zone interest rate cut.
Prices for U.S. Treasurys gained on Wednesday as sinking stock prices spooked investors into scooping up safe-haven government debt.
Gold futures settled lower, but spot gold rose in choppy trade as the two-year low it hit the previous session triggered Asian physical buying, but the market had trouble holding on to gains and is seen vulnerable to further sell-offs.
Oil prices tumbled on Wednesday, with Brent crude falling below $98 per barrel as rising U.S. fuel supplies added to overall concern about global oil demand.
"When I look at copper, it reminds me a lot of gold before that big breakdown," one analyst said.
When everyone hates a trade, it's time to buy, a contrarian explains.
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