U.S. bonds pushed higher on Friday, after disappointing manufacturing data from both the U.S. and China revived the safe haven bid for Treasurys.
U.S. oil fell by more than $1, as reports pointed to a slowing economy in China, the world's second-largest oil consumer.
Gold settled higher as a global flight from emerging market assets set global stock markets on course for their worst week so far in 2014.
U.S. stocks traded mixed Wednesday as Wall Street appraised results.
Asian equities were mixed on Friday, as fears of a slowdown in China weighed down on the Nikkei.
European equities closed lower on Thursday following disappointing data from the U.S., where manufacturing growth slowed in January.
U.S. bonds were largely flat as traders sifted a batch of key corporate earnings and data to determine whether optimism was justified.
U.S. crude oil rose nearly $1 after a sizable draw in distillates drove the heating fuel price to its highest so far this year.
Sterling rose to an almost three-year high against the dollar on growing expectations that the BoE will raise interest rates sooner.
The dollar slipped on Wednesday, hurt by gains in sterling and the Australian currency.
Gold settled about 2 percent higher as sharp losses in US equities and disappointing Chinese manufacturing data boosted bullion's safe-haven appeal.
Asian stocks declined on Thursday after a preliminary reading of Chinese manufacturing activity fell to a six-month low.
U.S. stock index futures signaled a weak open on Wall Street on Thursday, after data showed a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing activity this month.
U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat open on Wall Street on Wednesday, ahead of another busy day for quarterly earnings.
U.S. Treasury prices fell on Wednesday and benchmark yields edged up from five-week lows, with prices dragged lower by weaker German government debt.
European equities closed mixed on Wednesday, with Portuguese stocks down over 3 percent as shares in the country's banks fell.
Asian stocks rose on Tuesday as fears over a credit squeeze in China eased.
Oil rose on Wednesday as outlook reports indicated global oil demand will rise more quickly this year.
U.S. stock index futures pointed to another steep loss on Friday, with European and Asian shares trading lower.
Gold settled lower on Wednesday, leaving U.S. growth prospects and expectations for further Federal Reserve stimulus reduction to dominate sentiment.
Get the best of CNBC in your inbox