SCOREBOARD: Bucking Asia's dive

Despite the sharp falls across Asia's bourses, Wall Street rose on the back of strong tier-one US data.

After what happened on the Japanese market yesterday (down 6.4 per cent) - in fact the Asian region more broadly - I’m pleasantly surprised by Wall Street action last night. Gains were solid with the S&P500 closing 1.5 per cent higher (1636), the Dow was up 180 points (15,176) and the Nasdaq rose 1.3 per cent (3445). Now we know that recent lower tier data has been showing an upbeat picture of the US economy etc, but markets have ignored that following the excitement of the strong US payroll figures. I guess it’s a bit hard to ignore first-tier indicators though, like US retail sales last night. These showed a stronger-than-expected gain of 0.6 per cent in May (0.4 per cent expected) with sales less auto and gas up 0.3 per cent, following a 0.5 per cent rise in April. Good stuff which suggests US spending remained robust in the second quarter.  Adding to that, jobless claims fell again in the week to June 8, only 12,000 to 334,000, but that’s low. Don’t forget jobs growth has been quite strong in the US, and these jobless claims figures point to further robust gains. It’s all good.

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