Global equities reached new heights and Treasuries rallied sharply on Thursday, following the release of upbeat economic data in the US and reassurances that the Federal Reserve will continue to support financial markets.

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.

Further progress on the recovery front helped to push US stocks higher, with the S&P 500 rising 1.1 per cent to a new high. The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite gained 1.3 per cent, fuelled in part by strong quarterly results. The FTSE All-World index of developed and emerging market equities rose 0.8 per cent to a record.

US government debt rallied sharply alongside the upswing in stocks, with the yield on the 10-year US Treasury sliding 0.1 percentage points at one point to 1.53 per cent….

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