Traders will be hoping the latest batch of US stimulus checks signed off last month have already boosted consumer spending.
Asian shares slipped on Thursday dragged down by Chinese stocks as recent upbeat economic data raised fears of monetary policy tightening, while the dollar index struggled near one-month lows. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.1% after two straight days of gains. Japan's Nikkei pared early gains to finish 0.07% higher while New Zealand's benchmark index fell 0.9%.
Global equities pushed to record highs and Treasury yields fell following the release of upbeat economic data in the US and reassurances that the Federal Reserve would continue to support financial markets. US retail sales in March rose by the most in 10 months while the number of Americans filing for new unemployment benefits fell by 193,000 last week to 576,000, beating economists’ expectations for 700,000 new claims. The FTSE All-World index of developed and emerging market equities rose 0.6 per cent to a record, with stock markets also buoyed by strong quarterly results.