Asian shares gained on Monday, following the strong lead from Wall Street in the last session. With few data releases expected during the session, many investors awaited earnings releases from regional corporates later in the week.
In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.21 percent in the morning. Australia's "Big Four" banks were higher on the day, with ANZ climbing 0.52 percent. Gold producers, meanwhile, took a tumble, with the All Ordinaries Gold index falling by 0.93 percent.
South Korea's Kospi hovered around break even, gaining 0.08 percent after earlier slipping below the flat line. Gains in retailers and steelmakers were offset by losses in several heavyweight technology names. Blue chips Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix lost 1.04 percent and 1.39 percent, respectively.
Officials from the two Koreas are set to meet on Tuesday for the first time since December 2015. The talks are expected to focus on the upcoming Winter Olympics hosted by South Korea and inter-Korean ties, Reuters said, citing a government spokesman.
MSCI's broad index of shares in Asia Pacific excluding Japan was higher by 0.09 percent at 8:58 a.m. HK/SIN.
The first trading week of the year had seen Asian markets touch multi-year highs. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index hit its highest levels in a decade and Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose to levels not seen in 26 years in the last trading day.
Earnings releases from several Japanese corporates are expected toward the end of the week, although Samsung Electronics is set to release its fourth-quarter earnings guidance on Tuesday.
Japanese markets are closed for Coming of Age Day.
US markets closed higher on Friday despite jobs data for the month of December coming in below expectations.
Just 148,000 jobs were added in the US last month, according to government data, compared to the 190,000 increase projected in a Reuters poll. Average hourly earnings were higher by 2.5 percent on an annualized basis.
Still, major indexes stateside recorded gains in the last session to cap off a strong start to the year, with the Dow Jones industrial average climbing 2.3 percent last week.
On the currency front, the greenback remained on the back foot against a basket of currencies. The dollar index stood little changed at 91.982 at 8:40 a.m. HK/SIN, a tad below Friday's close of 92.013.
Against the yen, the dollar traded at 113.11.
The Australian dollar was mostly steady at USD 0.7859.
Meanwhile, oil was slightly firmer after slipping in the previous trading session on the back of higher US production. Oil prices had soared to their highest levels since May 2015 earlier last week.US West Texas Intermediate tacked on 0.21 percent to trade at USD 61.57 a barrel and Brent crude futures added 0.15 percent to trade at USD 67.72.