Stocks finished broadly lower Thursday, with the Dow closing below the psychologically-important 15000 mark, after gunshots were fired outside the Capitol building and as the government shutdown dragged into a third day.
Bond prices rose as an ongoing contest in Washington inspired investors to buy U.S. debt, still the most viable safe haven.
European shares closed lower, tracking the downward trend in U.S. stocks as the budget deadlock in Washington continued.
Crude oil was flat to weaker on Thursday, with U.S. oil ending modestly lower as concerns about the economic impact of a U.S. government shutdown offset strong data.
Gold fell on Thursday, as investors booked profits after the previous session's gains.
The U.S. dollar index fell for a fifth straight session against, hitting an eight-month low, as investors fretted about a U.S. government shutdown.
Asian stocks outside Japan were higher on Thursday as positive Chinese economic data overshadowed ongoing woes about Washington's budget stalemate.
Stocks eased off session lows but still closed in the red Wednesday, amid mounting worries that the ongoing budget battle in Washington could eventually lead to a failure to raise the country's debt ceiling.
European shares closed down on Wednesday, as the U.S. government shutdown continued and jobs data came in weak.
U.S. crude prices led the oil complex higher on Wednesday, following a report that TransCanada's Gulf Coast pipeline would be completed by the end of the month.
Gold rose more than 2 percent, recouping most of the previous session's tumble, as a drop in the dollar sparked bargain hunting.
The euro soared to an eight-month high vs the dollar on Wednesday as ECB President Mario Draghi stuck with the bank's current monetary policy stance.
Japanese shares fell to their lowest level in three weeks on Wednesday while fears about a U.S. budget battle weighed on the rest of Asia.
Stocks kicked off the first trading day of the month and quarter with modest gains, lifted by an upbeat manufacturing activity report and as investors seemed to shrug off the first partial government shutdown since 1996.
U.S. Treasurys prices fell, as traders reduced their safe-haven bond holdings on expectations that the government shutdown would be brief.
European shares closed higher as investors shrugged off the U.S. government shutdown and as fears eased of a government collapse in Italy.
Gold settled 3 percent lower on Tuesday, with the safe-haven metal ending at its lowest level in almost two months.
Oil fell to its lowest level in nearly two months on Tuesday, on worries that a shutdown of the U.S. government will crimp demand in the world's largest oil consumer.
The dollar traded broadly lower on Tuesday, but came off its deepest lows of the day after robust U.S. manufacturing data offset fears that the U.S. government's first partial shutdown in 17 years would clip the economic recovery.
Asian stocks held onto modest gains on Tuesday after the U.S. began the first partial federal shutdown since 1996.
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