A woman shops at a store at Hudson Yards in New York. Associated Press
For the first time since the Great Recession a decade ago, the US Federal Reserve is poised to cut interest rates, shoring up America’s defenses as the global economy weakens.
Activity is contracting in the US manufacturing sector but the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell last week, signs that factories are suffering from a global slowdown even as the broader labour market remains healthy.
European and US stocks and oil prices recovered on Friday on US stimulus hopes, after Asian equities experienced wild swings, with traders closing out a week of carnage for world markets as the coronavirus pandemic fuels fears of a global recession.
Spot gold was flat at $1,868.29 per ounce by 0627 GMT. But prices are down over 4% for the week pressured by a broadly stronger greenback. US gold futures were down 0.3% to $1,871.
Brent crude was down 4 cents at $41.90 a barrel by 0635 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dropped 8 cents to $40.23.
Dr Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, chaired the virtual meeting of the Industrial Cooperation Committee of the Gulf Cooperation Council on Thursday.