Gold price heads for longest run of monthly drops in 16 years
Positions hardened on Wednesday between U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders over the budget crisis even as they arranged to hold last-ditch talks to prevent harsh automatic spending cuts beginning this week.
U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, with major indexes posting their best daily gains since early January, as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke remained steadfast in supporting the Fed's stimulus policy and data pointed to economic improvement.
The euro held its ground against the dollar and yen on Thursday, with euro bulls taking heart after a relatively smooth auction of Italian government bonds helped ease worries about the country's inconclusive election.
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