Chinese stocks plunged Monday, triggering a trading halt for the day and leading Asia Pacific stock markets lower after feeble manufacturing surveys.
The Japanese yen rose broadly, as financial market turbulence sent traders scrambling for the traditional low-risk currency.
Gold rallied 2 percent, buoyed by tensions in the Middle East and a drop in stocks following weak Chinese data.
U.S.stocks closed lower in light volume trade Thursday, the last day of 2015, despite some stabilization in oil prices.
U.S. Treasury notes and bonds traded higher on Thursday, the last day of 2015.
U.S. stock index futures pared losses to point to flat to higher open as oil struggled for gains amid pressure from jittery Chinese markets.
European shares closed lower on Thursday, with volumes thin in a shortened trading session on the last day of 2015. The STOXX 600 gained 6.9 percent during the year.
Asian markets had an uninspired finish on the final trading day of 2015, as investors kept an eye on oil prices for further clues going into 2016.
U.S. stocks closed lower Wednesday in low volume trade as a decline in oil prices weighed.
U.S. sovereign bonds and notes were in a tight range Wednesday after a Treasury auction of $29 billion in seven-year notes.
Gold hit a seven-week high, extending gains for a third session, as persistent concerns over the Chinese economy battered stock markets.
Gold was flat on Thursday as the dollar rally paused.
European equities finished lower on Wednesday as investors fretted over renewed weakness in global commodity markets.
The dollar ended 2015 with a more than 9 percent annual gain against a basket of currencies on Thursday.
Gold fell on Wednesday, as the combination of a firm dollar and weak oil prices left the metal on track for its third consecutive annual loss.
Oil prices posted a second year of steep losses as record OPEC supply created a global glut that may take another year to clear.
U.S. stock index futures pointed to a sharply lower open on Wall Street Monday amid a sharp sell-off in Chinese stocks.
Oil prices fell more than 3 percent after government data showed that U.S. crude stockpiles unexpectedly rose in the last week.
The U.S. dollar rallied against commodity currencies such as the Norwegian crown and Russian ruble on Wednesday.
Asia shares ended Wednesday mixed, with South Korea and Hong Kong in the red, while Australia rose. Japan shares ended the year's final session up.