European shares closed flat to lower on Wednesday as investors awaited the minutes from the last Federal Reserve policy meeting.
U.S. stocks were setting up for a sharply higher open on Friday, following the first rate cut by China's central bank in more than two years.
Contracts for U.S. crude pared earlier losses to settle at $74.50 as Libya fueled hopes of that OPEC would cut oil production.
Gold tumbled on Wednesday as traders awaited Federal Reserve minutes later in the day and an opinion poll ahead of next week's Swiss gold referendum.
The US dollar was slightly weaker against the euro and the yen after the Federal Reserve released the minutes of last month's meeting.
Trading was mixed in Asia on Wednesday, as sentiment turned cautious amid concerns over the health of Japan - the world's third largest economy - and ahead of the release of the U.S. Federal Reserves' meeting minutes.
U.S. stock futures turned higher ahead of the open, with traders waiting on minutes from the latest meeting of the Federal Reserve and housing data.
The U.S. Treasury yield curve steepened on Tuesday, with benchmark 10-year bonds rising slightly.
European shares closed in positive territory on Tuesday as new data for Germany beat expectations and buoyed investor sentiment.
Oil extended its slide on Tuesday as traders looked toward Saudi Arabia and OPEC for signs the cartel would cut output.
U.S. stock index futures pointed to a softer open as investors digested the minutes from the Fed's latest meeting and a raft of new data.
Gold prices settled higher on Tuesday as the dollar softened against the euro due partly to better-than-expected German economic data.
The U.S. dollar weakened against the euro on Tuesday on a better than expected survey of German sentiment.
Asian bourses turned mixed late Tuesday, with Sydney and mainland indices under-performing on the back of a steeper-than-expected fall in China's new home prices.
Wall Street looked set for a higher open on Tuesday, after Dow component Home Depot reported numbers that were better than expected.
Stocks fell Monday after data had Japan unexpectedly falling into a recession.
U.S. Treasury debt prices slipped on Monday afternoon after European Central Bank's Mario Draghi said the bank was willing to purchase more bonds.
European shares closed higher after ECB President Mario Draghi reiterated that he was willing to do more to stimulate the euro zone economy.
The yen recovered from seven-year lows against the dollar but remained under pressure after data showing Japan's economy slipping into recession.
U.S. crude settled above $75 on Monday, paring earlier losses as Russia and Venezuela signaled closer coordination on oil prices ahead of an OPEC meeting.
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The Japanese are hoarding over $300 billion under their mattresses that will likely stay there, barring a crisis of epic proportions.
Greece's debt drama is getting more dire, but some are shrugging off a potential default as only a hiccup in the European market rally.
Britain's economy expanded at a faster pace than previously thought at the end of last year, helped by strong growth in exports.