Asian markets rise as traders evaluate strong US data

ASIAN markets pushed higher today, extending gains in New York and Europe, as a forecast-busting US retail sales report showed American consumers remain confident despite elevated inflation and the prospect of more interest rate hikes.

Traders have been tracking US data for months, with the general consensus being that, while good for the economy, a strong reading is bad for stocks as it adds pressure on the Federal Reserve to keep tightening monetary policy.