U.S. Treasurys prices rose on Friday as Washington looked set to implement spending cuts that are likely to weigh on economic growth and as European data pointed to a worsening economy in the region.
Gold mired in negative territory as the dollar extended gains after positive economic data and ahead of impending U.S. budget cuts.
U.S. Treasurys rose on Friday, lifted by safe-haven buying on the eve of federal spending cuts that could curb U.S. economic growth.
Asian markets were mixed on Friday, with Japan closing higher and Australia clawing back from session lows, while Chinese shares edged down on news that manufacturing activity in the mainland declined in February.
Stalemate in the United States over automatic government spending cuts due to take effect March 1 and an inconclusive election in Italy undermined the euro on Thursday.
The price of oil fell, as investors sold off commodities with the stock market surging toward a record high.
Gold headed towards its longest run of monthly declines in more than 16 years, as an improved economic backdrop and lower inflation concerns continued to blunt its appeal to investors.
Asian stocks rallied on Thursday, with Japan's Nikkei leading gains as the Federal Reserve's steadfast support for an ultra-easy monetary policy and a successful bond auction in Italy lifted risk appetite in a volatile week for global markets.
The euro rose against the dollar for the first time in three sessions on Wednesday on relief over solid demand for Italy's first bond sale since the country's general elections.
The commitment to a stimulative monetary policy reiterated by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke favored riskier assets over safe-haven U.S. debt, sending U.S. bond prices lower on Wednesday.
Gold fell 1 percent, nearly erasing all of the previous session's gains, hit by disappointment over a lack of new Federal Reserve stimulus and deflation worries over across-the-board deep U.S. spending cuts.
Brent crude oil futures settled at $111.87 a barrel, as investors weighed expectations that the Federal Reserve's stimulus program will be maintained against the sixth straight weekly rise in U.S. crude oil stockpiles.
European shares extended gains in the afternoon session on Wednesday, helped by a successful bond auction in Italy and the U.S. Federal Reserve's defense of its asset purchases on Tuesday.
U.S. stock index futures edged higher Wednesday following the durable goods orders report and ahead of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's second round of testimony, but ongoing worries over political deadlock in Italy kept a lid on gains.
Europe is still a very attractive market despite the current political and economic risks, David Rubenstein, co-founder & managing director of the Carlyle Group, told CNBC on Wednesday.
Asian shares rebounded on Wednesday to snap previous losses after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke confirmed his commitment to monetary easing. However, Tokyo stocks bucked the trend as investors sold off exporter stocks on a rising yen.
Volatility calmed down Tuesday but brace yourself: Pros say bigger gyrations could be the norm for the next few weeks as investors watch what's going on in Washington and Europe.
The euro traded flat against the U.S. dollar and yen on Tuesday, recouping early losses with the help of U.S. central bank assurances that a bond-buying stimulus program will remain in place.
Brent crude oil fell to a one-month low — under $113 a barrel — on Tuesday as inconclusive Italian election results revived investor concerns about instability in the euro zone and threatened the outlook for fuel demand.
Gold rose 1.3 percent, its biggest one-day gain in three months, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's defense of U.S. bond-buying stimulus boosted bullion's inflation-hedge appeal.
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