US equities rose higher still today, on the back of the latest US retail numbers. NAB’s Gavin Friend says trading is still cautious – it’s not a ‘fear of missing out’ scenario. The data is supporting the cautious optimism, with a particularly strong result in the Philadelphia Fed survey knocking well above market expectation. In Australia yesterday the value of home loans surprised on the upside, whilst today the manufacturing PMIs for New Zealand will be of interest and UK retail sales will be watched by the Bank of England, who have been making increasing sounds of moving to a rate-cut in the short term. There’s also discussion about surprise rate cuts in South Africa and Turkey.