The euro suffered its biggest daily decline against the dollar in nearly a year on Wednesday, weakened by talk of a euro zone interest rate cut.
Prices for U.S. Treasurys gained on Wednesday as sinking stock prices spooked investors into scooping up safe-haven government debt.
Gold futures settled lower, but spot gold rose in choppy trade as the two-year low it hit the previous session triggered Asian physical buying, but the market had trouble holding on to gains and is seen vulnerable to further sell-offs.
Oil prices tumbled on Wednesday, with Brent crude falling below $98 per barrel as rising U.S. fuel supplies added to overall concern about global oil demand.
"When I look at copper, it reminds me a lot of gold before that big breakdown," one analyst said.
When everyone hates a trade, it's time to buy, a contrarian explains.
Traders are watching for technical signs that the market is reaching its limit. The answer should be revealed in the next few days.
European shares closed lower on Wednesday on worries about slowing growth and rumors of a credit downgrade for Germany curbing investor sentiment.
U.S. stock index futures were lower Wednesday, pressured by some weaker-than-expected earnings and amid worries over global growth.
U.S. Treasurys prices slid on Tuesday as a safety bid in the previous session faded, though yields remained low as investors weighed the Federal Reserve's easing options for the rest of the year.
Brent crude sank to a nine month low, extending a recent rout triggered by data from China and the United States that weakened the outlook for demand.
The yen tumbled against the dollar and euro Tuesday, reversing the previous session's sharp gains as investor anxiety triggered by a record plunge in gold prices eased.
Gold rose after physical buyers of bullion grabbed the chance offered by the previous session's record-breaking one-day drop, but investors expected more falls.
The markets and the economy will move past the Boston bombings "relatively quickly," but there may be some "lingering impact," Ameriprise Financial's chief market strategist says.
The recent plunge in gold prices could be a silver lining for this Asian country, which is the largest consumer of the precious metal. Find out why.
Gold may have suffered its biggest one-day decline this week but that hasn't stopped some gold bulls from standing firm.
Japan and Australia led gains as Asian indices ended mixed on Wednesday.
This week's sell-off in global financial markets, which has spared few asset classes, may well reflect investors reassessing their outlook for the global economy.
The market often falls more rapidly than it rises. Gold's fall towards $1,260 may happen in several weeks.
The stock market was already shaky before two blasts rocked the Boston Marathon. On Tuesday, traders will be seeking answers about who was behind the attacks.