Article Photos: Asia stocks rise as US employment claims dip 4/5

A man checks his mobile phone in front of an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 as Japan's Nikkei 225 index, top center, rose 78.60 points to 9,547.44.  Asian stock markets remained in a holding pattern Thursday as investors assessed President Barack Obama's comments that reaching a budget deal to prevent the U.S. from a possible recession was "not that tough" and could even be done quickly. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)