Softer-than-expected US data looks to have weighed on equities last night. Well, that and a flare-up of violence in Iraq as Kurdish fighters took the city of Kirkuk (an oil-rich region) following ISIS taking Mosul earlier in the week. Crude prices spiked as a result.
As for the data, US retail sales rose again in May, but by a weaker-than-expected 0.3 per cent. Markets had expected a 0.6 per cent lift. Ex-autos and gas sales were flat. Not great but it’s not as if US consumers were struggling or anything.