Asian markets gained on Thursday for the third straight day.
Australian shares closed their highest in a week. And the Aussie dollar rose after employment figures surged past expectations for the fifth straight month in January.
Japan markets are closed for a holiday, but the yen slid against the Aussie dollar because of strong employment data.
And the euro rose against the yen and the dollar ahead of a key EU summit later today that may shed light on a possible rescue package for debt-ridden Greece.
In company news—added to a wave of personal injury lawsuits stemming from
Toyota's massive recall—the Japanese carmaker faces more than 40 consumer class-action cases in the U.S. over the shrinking resale value of its cars.
The actions, filed in at least 30 states and growing in number, could cost the world's number one automaker more than $2 billion dollars.