Gold bars
Gold bars Lisi Niesner/Reuters

Global stocks and commodities, including recently battered gold prices, rose Friday on fresh evidence that neither eurozone troubles nor Asian weakness are deterring U.S. economic growth.

But steep losses recently, particularly among commodities, were expected to leave many investments with a weekly if not a quarterly loss.

In Asia, the Hang Seng surged 1.4 percent while Britain's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX equity indexes were both up. France's CAC 40 edged lower. The euro, down 2.7 percent this week, climbed back over $1.30.

In the U.S., futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 were all higher, signaling a positive open.

Copper, which has dropped 6 percent this week, rose 2 percent, the price of benchmark Brent blend crude oil climbed to more than $104 per barrel and agricultural commodities like soybeans and wheat also gained.

The most actively traded silver contract on the Comex rose 1.4 percent. Comex gold rose 1.1 percent.

The rise in global stocks and commodities reflected fresh evidence that continuing signs of U.S. economic recovery are not aberrations.

Two key regional manufacturing surveys showed surprising strength and first-time claims for jobless benefits dropped last week more than expected. The U.S. corporate sector appeared robust: FedEx Corp. reporting quarterly income nearly doubling and Rite Aid Corp. cutting its third-quarter losses.

The positive U.S. news contrasted with continued eurozone troubles and Asian weakness. Fitch Ratings on Thursday followed Standard & Poor's by downgrading more big European banks.

Japanese business sentiment deteriorated in the three months to December, and China's factory output declined again this month.

Europe remains a major concern while growth in other parts of the world, such as China, is also slowing, Ang Kok Heng, who helps manage about $400 million as chief investment officer at Phillip Capital Management Sdn in Kuala Lumpur, told Reuters.

With risk sentiment rising Friday the dollar declined 0.2 percent against a basket of major currencies.

That lifted gold, which becomes less expensive to investors who buy the metal with non-U.S. currencies.

Still, the yellow metal is down 8 percent week-to-date and may end the fourth quarter with a loss, its first such negative quarter in more than three years.

The losses this quarter reflect hedge funds selling to raise cash and fund managers selling to meet year-end redemptions. The decline was exacerbated this week by stop-loss selling triggered by the price dipping below $1,600.

Throughout recent declines, though, retail gold investors with a medium- to long-term horizon have held on to their positions, particularly in exchange-traded funds.

Our view is that this week's (gold price) washout is overdone, UBS analyst Edel Tully wrote Friday in a note.

We think gold at these levels presents a buying opportunity. Although slow to react initially, the physical market has now responded: combined turnover on the (Shanghai Gold Exchange) this week has been consistently strong and is about 53 percent higher than the previous week's, while demand from India is shaping up to be the strongest weekly offtake since early October.

Comex gold climbed $16 to $1,593.20, while spot gold rose 39 cents to $1,590.36.

Comex silver was up 43 cents to $29.71, while spot silver added 24 cents to $29.71.