Switzerland's franc soared by almost 30 percent in value against the euro after the Swiss National Bank abandoned its three-year old cap.
Asian stock markets traded mostly higher amid choppy trade on Thursday, as a rebound in energy prices provided some reprieve.
Gold prices jumped more than 2 percent after earlier hitting a 4-month high on Thursday as European shares and the dollar turned lower.
U.S. Treasury prices pared some gains after the government's auction of 30-year bonds and the release of the Fed's monthly Beige Book report on business activity.
European equities closed sharply lower on Wednesday as the turmoil in global commodity markets continued.
Stocks fell Wednesday as a thrashing of commodities increased worry about the world economy.
U.S. stock index futures signaled a softer open on Thursday after the Swiss National Bank shocked global markets by abandoning its peg to the euro.
U.S. crude oil surged on Wednesday, posting its biggest one-day percentage gain since June 2012.
The persisting turmoil in commodity markets ignited risk aversion in most Asian stock markets on Wednesday, with Tokyo and Sydney equities finishing at fresh lows.
The dollar fell against the yen following after newly released data showed retail sales fell 0.9 percent, its biggest drop since January 2014.
Stocks rose Tuesday after aluminum-producer Alcoa delivers earnings and revenue that topped expectations.
U.S. stock index futures signaled a lower open on Wednesday, as weak oil prices hit copper and mining stocks and investors awaited bank earnings.
European equities closed sharply higher on Tuesday, with a surge in retail stocks helping to boost investor sentiment.
Asian shares were mixed on Tuesday, as traders weighed a better-than-expected trade report from the mainland and the continued fall in global oil markets.
Gold hit a 12-week high as investors sought refuge from volatility in the wider markets.
Oil prices continued their rout with Brent crude and US WTI both falling to their lowest in almost six years.
The yen hit a one-month high against the dollar on Tuesday, buoyed by steady demand for safe-haven assets against a backdrop of plunging oil prices.
Stocks dropped Monday after a second weekly loss.
U.S. stock index futures signaled a higher open on Monday, as investors watched to see how markets would digest earnings as oil fell further.
U.S. government debt prices were little changed on Monday ahead of earnings from aluminium producer Alcoa.
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