Crude oil price retreats more than 2 dollars to 53.2 after surging to 2-month high at 54.66 as stock markets pare previous gains. WTI crude oil price has traded above 50 over the past week, confirming that a bottom has formed earlier at 32/33, amid speculations that global economy has troughed and recovery will be triggered by the massive rescue plans by governments around the world.

However, economic data released so far did not provide much support to improved sentiments. Released earlier in Asia, Japan's nationwide CPI in February slid -0.1% yoy after recording a flat reading in the previous month. This increased deflationary risk in the nation. Moreover, retail sales plunged -5.8% mom in February because of lower demand from exports as well as in home country.

In Asia, stock performance was mixed. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index did not change much today while Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock slid -0.11% to settle at 8627 Friday. The moderate drop did not affect the 8.6% weekly gain in the index, though. Benchmark index in other regions rose. Asustralia's S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.7% and China's CSI 300 Index added +0.8%.

In European morning, economy in the UK contracted more than previously estimated the last quarter in 2008 with 4Q GDP revised downward to -1.6% qoq (initial reading: -1.5%). FTSE 100 Index opened 0.02% lower while other indices such as Germany's DAX and France's CAC 40 also plunged -0.6% and -0.8% respectively.

Gold price trades lower after gaining modestly Thursday, as the dollar recovers. Against the euro and the pound, the greenback rose to 1.3393 and 1.426 respectively as the regions recorded poor economic data.

On the other hand, platinum price will possibly record a 2nd weekly and a 5th monthly gain as investors anticipate higher metal demand amid economic recovery. While it will take time to witness improvement autocatalyst demand, jewelry demand should be boosted by recent price correction. Platinum futures price has dived more than 60% from the 2313 top in Mar 08 to below 800 in Nov 08. Despite consistent recovery afterward, the gauge is still 50% lower than the peak level.