A trader reacts at his desk at the Frankfurt stock exchange on Aug. 19, 2011.  (Reuters/Alex Domanski)


Gold futures fell more than $100 on Wednesday, one of the steepest falls ever, as strong U.S. economic data and expectations of more Federal Reserve stimulus accelerated profit taking from the safe-haven record high of a day ago.


Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti arrives at a press conference in Rome's Chigi palace, Premier's office, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011. Italy's government has approved euro 45 billion ($64.12 billion) in cuts over the next two years to balance the budget by 2013 to meet demands of European Central Bank.  (AP photo/Riccardo De Luca)

Mourners push the coffin of Bano Abobakar Rashid, 18, the first victim of the shooting rampage at Utoeya to be buried, during her funeral at a church in Nesodden, near Oslo, Norway, Friday July 29, 2011.  (Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press)


World stocks hit five-week highs last Thursday as data on U.S. private sector hiring boosted optimism

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