Hong Kong Hang Seng Index ( HSI ) increased by 0.1%. The Chinese Shanghai Composite Index ( SHCOMP ) increased 0.4%. Japan's Nikkei ( N225 ) gained 0.4%. South Korea Kospi ( KOSPI ) advanced by 0.7%.
Monday marked the first day of trading for the region, as the People's Bank of China said on Friday it would reduce the amount of cash that banks need to keep in reserve, which could allocate 900 billion yuan ($ 126 billion) to long term lending. The central bank has indicated that it can take more steps to stimulate the economy.
The Chinese economy continues to show signs of weakness. Exports unexpectedly shrunk by 1
% last month, according to figures released over the weekend. Reuters surveyed expected those numbers to rise.
Exports in August to the United States decreased by 16% compared to a year ago. The country is locked in a trade war with the United States.
Elsewhere in the region, Japan revealed that its economy is growing slower than projected in the second quarter. The country revises GDP growth to 1.3% for the quarter compared to 1.8% originally estimated, according to figures released by the cabinet.
The Central Bank of Japan meets next week. Japan's interest rates are already very low and investors are looking at whether the central bank will ease its monetary policy even further in the future.
"Traders … rely on the pillars of monetary policymakers' support." wrote Stephen Ines, market strategist for Asia Pacific at AxiTrader, in a report Monday. He added that expectations for central bankers were high to take steps to support their economies.
Investors also expect a political decision by the European Central Bank on Thursday, Innes writes.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve holds its meeting in September next week. President Jerome Powell on Friday reiterated his promise to do what is necessary to keep the US economy growing – comments that are seen as a signal that policymakers may cut interest rates again.
Separately, China's foreign exchange reserves – currently over $ 3.1 trillion – rose $ 3.5 billion in August, an unexpected jump. Analysts surveyed by Reuters predicted that this amount would fall.
The Global Times, China's state-run media agency, said on Sunday it could give the country "more freedom of freedom" in its ongoing trade war with the United States.