In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.7 percent to end at 6,038.9 as resource stocks gave a boost to the overall index. Rio Tinto climbed 1.22 percent and Fortescue Metals rose 0.82 percent. Banking shares were also higher on Monday, with ANZ rising 2.13 percent after the bank announced it would buy back up to A$1.5 billion ($1.15 billion) shares on-market.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index was up 0.98 percent at 3:10 p.m. HK/SIN, while mainland indexes finished the session mixed. The Shanghai Composite inched higher by 0.07 percent to end at 3,268.33 and the Shenzhen Composite shed 0.64 percent to finish at 1,889.13.
The People's Bank of China raised the 14-day reverse repo rate by 5 bps to 2.65 percent on Monday, Reuters reported. The move followed the central bank's decision last week to increase the seven-day and 28-day reverse repo rates and the medium-term lending facility rate by 5 bps following the Federal Reserve's December rate hike.
Investors also took note of China property price data released Monday. New home prices rose 0.3 percent in November compared to the month before and 5.1 percent compared to one year ago.
In the U.S., Republicans unveiled their final tax plan on Friday as two holdout GOP senators indicated they would support the tax bill after compromises were made. Among the provisions that made the cut was a reduction in the corporate tax rate from the existing 35 percent to 21 percent, with effect from 2018.
Republicans intend to pass the measures by the middle of this week.
U.S. stocks closed at record levels, with the Dow Jones industrial average gaining 0.58 percent, or 143.08 points, to close at 24,651.74.
The dollar drifted lower during the session. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six currencies, rose as high as 93.997 on Friday. At 3:00 p.m. HK/SIN, the dollar index stood at 93.842.
Against the Japanese currency, the dollar was steady at 112.67.
The Indian rupee bounced back after it became apparent that Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party would come out on top in the Gujarat Assembly election. The Indian currency traded at 64.11 rupee to the dollar at 3:00 p.m. HK/SIN, after slipping as low as 64.72 earlier on jitters that the BJP was facing a close fight. The rupee had closed at 64.07 on Friday.
Oil prices edged up. Brent crude futures rose 0.6 percent to trade at $63.61 per barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate was 0.61 percent higher at $57.65.