Gold prices rode a global stock market and commodities rally Tuesday to rise 1 percent and break a two-day losing streak.
Better-than-expected fourth-quarter revenue from Alcoa Inc., the top U.S. aluminum maker, launched the U.S. earnings season and helped lift market sentiment.
A good start to the earnings season; it shows the demand outlook is not so bad and we could get more positive surprises, Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist and head of research at Brewin Dolphin Securities, told Reuters.
In France a report showed that industrial production in November was up 1.1 percent, beating analysts' forecasts.
In China a report that exports and imports in the world's second-biggest economy increased at their slowest pace in more than two years sparked expectations that Beijing would intervene to stimulate its economy.
Policy makers in Beijing are very much focused on downside risks, Andrew Pease, a Sydney-based senior investment strategist for the Asia-Pacific region at Russell Investment Group, told Bloomberg. It would be a reasonable expectation that there's a lot of monetary easing to come in the first half of the year.
The developments energized global stocks. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 2.7 percent and the MSCI All-Country World Index was up 0.7. The Straits Times Index climbed more than 1 percent, while the Hang Seng and Nikkei 225 were also up sharply.
In Europe, the FTSE 100 rose 1.04 percent, France's CAC 40 up 1.6 percent and Germany's DAX soared 2.1 percent.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 were all higher.
The big stock gains cut into the dollar, which fell 0.34 percent to 81.12 against a basket of major currencies. The euro was steady.
Those concerns were reflected in an auction of Germany bonds that resulted in a negative interest rate - meaning, investors were willing to pay Berlin to hold their money rather than be paid.
Commodities also benefited from the risk-on sentiment. The S&P GSCI Index of 24 commodities rose nearly 1 percent. West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed 1.3 percent to $102.62 per barrel. Copper jumped 1.5 percent.
Gold for February delivery rose $20.10 to $1,628.20, while spot gold climbed $17.33 to $1,628.68.
Silver for March delivery was up 89 cents to $29.67, and silver for immediate delivery gained 76 cents to $29.79.