U.S. crude rose as traders watched Ukraine's crisis, but gains were curbed by domestic supply builds and lower demand in the U.S. and China.
Fears the crisis in Ukraine could intensify led traders to the safe havens of the Japanese yen and Swiss franc.
Asian shares traded mixed late Thursday. Domestic data lifted Australian stocks, while weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data limited gains in Shanghai.
The yen heads for its biggest weekly gain in more than a month against the dollar, on tensions in Ukraine and the Chinese economy.
Asian equity markets sold off sharply across the board on Friday amid a flight-to-safety.
U.S. stock futures turned higher Tuesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a speech that he does not want Ukraine divided further.
European stocks closed lower on Thursday, continuing a volatile week that has been dominated by concerns over China and the Ukraine.
U.S. oil rose as constructive data fanned hopes for the recovery, but Brent was hit by growing fears about China's economy.
U.S. stocks declined on Thursday, after the S&P 500 came less than four points from its record close.
U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Friday following a selloff Thursday, but this weekend's referendum in Crimea could keep a lid on gains as investors start fretting over the fallout of the vote.
Gold managed to log a modest gain on Thursday after stronger-than-expected US jobs and retail sales data lifted the dollar off early lows.
Gold hit a near six-month high, as fears of more corporate defaults in China and the geopolitical tug-of-war in Ukraine hurt equity markets.
Concerns about China and other developing economies weakened the Australian dollar and currencies closely linked to commodities markets.
Stocks were little changed Wednesday, as the Dow and the S&P flirted with gains after two a two-day drop.
U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a higher open on Thursday.
Bonds rose in safe-haven bids on worries over the health of China's economy, which helped fuel strong demand at the government's 10-year note auction.
European stocks closed lower on Wednesday amid lingering worries over China's economy and concerns about tensions in Ukraine.
Crude was hurt by a large rise in U.S. oil inventories and a report that the government planned to release crude from its reserve.
Brent held near $108 a barrel as a worsening crisis over Ukraine stoked supply disruption fears.
The ECB's forward guidance may adjust policy to tighten the slack in the Euro zone economy, a senior ECB official said.
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