Strong European markets at the conclusion of last week translated to the US markets on Friday night. It was assisted by better than expected US retail trade data. This positive lead fed through to Australia, which, along with the Chinese market exiting their New Year celebrations in a good mood, culminated in positive trading days for Australia on Monday and Tuesday. Although the Australian market had a positive overseas lead in on Wednesday, the market finished a volatile day down slightly. On Thursday a good lead in from Wall Street, along with a bounce in the oil price, provided a positive catalyst to the Australian market. To conclude the week, both the US and Australian markets fell slightly, capping strong weeks for both markets.