European stocks were lower in early trade, reducing their weekly gain, as commodity companies followed drops in oil and metal prices. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index was down 0.4 percent.

Miners retreated for the second day, after hitting their highest level since 2014. Banks and automakers also fell. The pan-European benchmark declined on Thursday for the first time in eight sessions, breaking its longest rally in 19 months. The sentiment of analysts have mostly been upbeat about European equities after the Stoxx 600 posted its highest close since December 2015 in the week.

Allianz SE advanced 2.8 percent after the Europe's biggest insurance company proposed spending three billion euros on purchasing back its own shares after reporting a higher than expected profit growth. Shares of Royal Vopak NV plunged nine percent, the biggest decliner of the Stoxx 600, following its announcement that this year's earnings will not surpass 2016's figures.

Volkswagen AG led losses in automakers, off by 2.3 percent after global sales of its own brand vehicles declined in January. Stoxx 600 banks are on track for the fifth consecutive monthly gain, which will be the longest winning streak in three years.

Crude prices were hit by the disappointment stemming from OPEC's agreement to extend currently implemented supply cuts, as investors' bets of deeper reductions were confounded.

OPEC and other non-member producers reached a consensus during a meeting in Vienna to prolong supply cuts of 1.8 million bpd until the end of March 2018, denoting a nine month extension. While the move to renew the agreement was highly expected, some investors in the oil market hoped producers would settle for longer or deeper supply cuts in an intensified bid to drain the market's glut.

Speculation regarding the cuts has bolstered crude futures in recent days, with the affirmation triggering investors to lock in profits.

U.S. WTI crude futures traded flat at $48.88 per barrel after shedding 4.8 percent overnight. It is poised to end the week 2.8 percent lower.

Global benchmark Brent edged up 0.1 percent up to $51.50 per barrel after falling 4.6 percent overnight. It is headed for a 3.9 percent weekly drop.

2017.05.26 02:05:00 UTC+00

Gold Prices End Lower as Dollar Stabilizes

Gold Prices eased as the dollar pulled away from lows and steadied, while world stock markets reached fresh highs, reversing some gains from the prior session when U.S. Federal Reserve meeting minutes indicated it is more cautious on pulling the trigger on another rate hike.

Spot gold ended ended down 0.2 percent at $1, 255.91 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures ended up 0.3 percent at $1, 256 .50.

Economists anticipate the gold's resilience to fluctuate in the following weeks, citing hints in the Fed minutes that further monetary policy tightening is on the table as early as June.

Minutes of the May policy meeting showed policymakers generally agreed that they should postpone raising rates until it is sure that a recent U.S. economic slump is only transitory. Despite the cautious tone, majority of the rate-setting committee said a hike is coming soon.

Federal fund futures indicated traders are pricing in an 83 percent odds of a quarter percentage point rate hike during the Fed's june meeting.

Bets for U.S. interest rates to increase next month and possibly rise once more in the year have helped kept gold prices under $1,300.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite finished at fresh record highs, led by solid gains in consumer discretionary sector and technology stocks.

The benchmark S&P 500 advanced by 0.44 percent or 10.68 pts to end at 2, 415.07 while the Nasdaq Composite rose by 0.69 percent or 42.23 pts to 6, 205.26. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which last hit a closing high on March one, rose by 0.34 percent or 70.53 points to end at 21, 082.95.

The discretionary index advanced 0.9 percent, while the S&P 500 retail index rose by 1.6 percent after strong quarterly financial reports from Best Buy, Sears and other retailers. The technology sector also outperformed, rising by 0.8 percent due to a jump in CSRA shares after the state IT provider exceeded earning estimates.

The solid Wall Street gains came despite a wave of selloff hitting energy shares, after price of oil saw its biggest decline in three weeks regardless of reports that OPEC would prolong its deal to reduce output by nine more months. Analysts said investors were disappointed that the cuts, while prolonged, were not any deeper and were deemed to be insufficient in tackling the persisting oil glut in the market. Shares in energy stocks slid 1.8 percent to 487.09.

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May 26 at 7:15 UTC

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