Gold rose 1 percent on Thursday as weaker U.S. economic data boosted hopes that the Federal Reserve will maintain its monetary stimulus, allaying fears that the U.S. central bank may stop buying assets soon.
Both U.S. light, sweet crude and Brent crude oil prices settled, pressured by weak euro zone economic data and the possibility that the U.S. Federal Reserve might curb its economic stimulus measures.
U.S. Treasurys rose on Thursday as worries over a lack of economic recovery in Europe and higher-than-expected U.S. claims for jobless benefits prompted investors to buy assets perceived as safe havens.
Downbeat economic reports, hints of a possible early end to dollar-denting Fed policies, and unease about the Italian election are creating a perfect storm for the euro.
A sharp fall on the Milan stock market hit European shares on Thursday, with uncertainty over this weekend's Italian elections.
U.S. stock index futures continued to trade in negative territory Thursday, a day after the S&P 500 logged its worst one-day selloff in 2013, following a disappointing jobless claims report and as consumer price index remained unchanged in January.
China markets resumed their decline, after a one-day recovery on Wednesday, dampened by fresh worries about monetary tightening and expansion of property sector curbs.
The recent run-up in sovereign bond yields combined with a recovery in global growth could lead to a crash in bond prices similar to the one seen in 1994, said AMP Capital in a report.
The U.S. Federal Reserve's signal that it may not continue its bond buying program is a game changer for global equity markets, Dennis Gartman, editor of "The Gartman Letter" told CNBC on Thursday.
A massive sell-off in Asian stock markets on Thursday erased the previous day's strong gains after Wall Street fell on minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting as worries mount the United States could stop or cut its monetary stimulus program.
Markets threw up enough technical red flags amid a wave of volatility Wednesday to have traders wondering if the first real sell off of 2013 has finally arrived.
The yen may have tumbled 17 percent against the dollar since the start of November, making many currency speculators, including George Soros, rich. But that depreciation could vanish with one analyst telling CNBC that investors shouldn't get too carried away.
The dollar jumped to a four-week high after minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting suggested policymakers may have to slow or stop buying assets before seeing the pick-up in hiring.
U.S. Treasury debt prices rose on Wednesday, even after records of the Federal Reserve's January meeting showed policymakers discussed the slowing or stopping of Fed bond purchases that are aimed at reducing unemployment.
Commodities tumbled on Wednesday as investors worried about global supply and demand issues amid an uneven economic recovery.
Gold fell below $1,600 an ounce to a seven-month low, as rumors of a troubled hedge fund forced to liquidate positions triggered a sell-off of commodities.
With the White House and the Speaker's Office publicly throwing barbs at each other, Wall Street increasingly believes the federal budget cuts known as the sequester are likely to take effect March 1.
Gold is flashing the "death cross" but the bearish chart pattern is not the only thing scaring investors.
Most of the conditions needed for a retreat are in place: Overbought stocks, a protracted period of low volatility and the presence of multiple downside catalysts.
European shares closed lower on Wednesday following varied earning reports. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index moved in-and-out of the red in a choppy day of trading.