Australia's jobless rate rose to a nine-month high of 5.6% in April as more people looked for work, but the number of employed beat expectations as more full-time jobs were added.

A strengthening U.S. economy has done nothing to boost the underlying neutral rate of interest, San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams said in remarks that highlight an intensifying debate at the central bank over how high rates might rise in its move to "normalize" monetary policy.

The Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rose 0.3% last month after surging 0.8% in March. April's increase in retail sales was in line with market expectations. Retail sales in April increased 4.7% from a year ago.

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