Palladium tumbled to a one-month low as investors awaited confirmation that South Africa's longest mining strike would end soon.
Asian equities turned mixed on Friday amid concerns about violence in Iraq and signs of improving economic activity from China.
The dollar dipped versus the yen, although potentially decisive events such as the Federal Reserve meeting midweek limited movements.
U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday, after falling sharply a day earlier when stocks were hit by concerns about violence in Iraq.
The Treasury auctioned $13 billion of 30-year bonds at a high yield of 3.444 percent. The bid-to-cover ratio, an indicator of demand, was 2.69.
European shares closed around the flatline on Thursday, paring earlier gains.
Retail sales missed expectations, and state unemployment benefits claims climbed higher than expected.
The euro neared a four-month low versus the dollar and a 1-1/2 year trough against sterling on Wednesday.
Gold settled at its highest level in nearly three weeks on Thursday after US retail sales and jobless claims came in below expectations.
U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday after the World Bank cut its outlook for global growth.
Stocks declined on Thursday after retail sales figures disappointed and energy costs rose.
U.S. stock index futures pointed higher on Thursday, with retail sales figures set to be the main focus for the session.
Bonds pared some gains on Wednesday after the U.S. government's auction of 10-year Treasury notes, the second of three debt auctions this week.
European shares closed lower on Wednesday, having failed to find any real momentum during the session.
Gold settled higher as palladium prices hovered near their highest level since early 2001, benefiting from a five-month strike in South Africa.
Gold settled higher on Tuesday as palladium jumped to its highest level in nearly 3-1/2 years.
Brent oil futures rose toward $110 a barrel as violence in Iraq prompted worries about supply, while U.S. crude struggled to make gains.
U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wednesday, after the World Bank downgraded its global growth outlook.
Asian stocks were lower on Thursday amid concerns about global growth and escalating violence in Iraq.
Asian equity markets were mixed on Wednesday with momentum subdued following a lackluster session on Wall Street.
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