Data brings more focus on timing of U.S. rate hike
U.S. stock investors may be bracing for further signs next week that the Federal Reserve could increase interest rates sooner rather than later, with retail sales expected to rebound after two straight months of declines. A pickup in retail sales could show consumers are benefiting from sharply lower oil prices, but analysts say spending in February was likely curbed by unusually harsh weather in parts of the United States. Among them, Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker repeated his view that the Fed should raise rates in June.
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