Asian markets traded mostly higher on Thursday, despite ongoing “fiscal cliff” concerns. The Nikkei climbed .9% to 10323, as the yen continued to drop, boosting exporters. Toyota shares rallied 2.6% after settling a class action lawsuit in the US relating to engine malfunctions. The Hang Seng rose .4% to 22620, and the ASX 200 ticked up .3% as trading resumed after a 2 day break.
Rising commodity prices lifted mining shares in Europe, as the FTSE 350 mining index climbed 1%. The CAC40 advanced .6% to 3764, and the DAX ticked up .3% to 7656.
The Dow fell as much as 151 points in the afternoon as hopes for a “fiscal cliff” deal faded, before staging a rally in the final hour, after the House of Representatives announced it would convene for an extra session on Sunday evening. The Dow settled down 18 points to 13806, after dropping as low as 12964.
Oppenheimer lifted its price target on Domino’s Pizza to $50 from $44, sending shares up 1.1% to 43.28.
The Yen’s retreat continued, as the Japanese currency fell .7% against the Dollar to 86.09, and .8% against the Euro to 113.95. The Pound declined .2% to 1.6099, and the Euro managed a slight gain of .1% to 1.3236.
The Conference Board’s consumer confidence index dropped to 65.1 from 71.5, way below forecasts for 70.3. New home sales rose by 16K to 377K, but fell short of forecasts for 382K.