The Shanghai Composite Index CN:000001+0.41% , however, was again an outlier, rising just 0.4% amid ongoing questions over the strength of the Chinese economy.
Still, for the major Asian equity markets, “reaction to Friday events is behind the improvement today,” said Jamie Spiteri, head of trading at Shaw Stockbroking in Sydney.
Those events contained some positive messages on two key areas of anxiety for investors — the manner in which the European crisis is being handled and the heath of the U.S. economy, Spiteri said.
Data out Friday showed that U.S. employment data beat expectations and helped investors overcome fear that the U.S. economy will slow further.
“The bigger-than-expected 163,000 increase in U.S. non-farm payrolls in July, alongside the small rise in the ISM non-manufacturing index, should ease fears that the U.S. economy is following Europe into recession,” said Paul Ashworth, economist at Capital Economics. (Read more on U.S. jobs and ISM services data.)
Earnings gave some Japanese firms additional momentum, with auto manufacturer Toyota Motor Corp. JP:7203+2.45%TM+5.23% climbing 2.3% as investors cheered strong earnings out Friday. The firm came off early highs, however, after it said that it will recall more than 160,000 RAV4 vehicles sold in China. (Read more on Toyota earnings.and recall .)
Japanese brokerage Daiwa Securities Ltd. JP:8601+1.79%DSEEY+0.84% gained 2.2% after swinging back to a quarterly net profit of 2.68 billion yen ($34.1 million) from a loss of ¥9.43 billion in the year-earlier period.
Korean technology firms were performing strongly, with SK Hynix Inc. HXSCL0.00% up 4.1% and heavyweight Samsung Electronics Co. SSNLF-0.30% gaining 4.4%.
Investors had pushed commodities sharply higher in New York on Friday after the jobs data weighed on the U.S. dollar, with oil futures gaining almost 5% in the session. Read more on oil futures.
Japanese oil-sector firms were also trading with gains, with Inpex Corp. JP:1605+4.44%IPXHY+4.83% climbing 4.3% after raising its profit forecasts and reporting a 74% rise in its first-quarter net profit.
Tokyo-listed Pacific Metals Co. JP:5541-14.18%PFMTF-2.70% dropped 14.6%, however, after it said it now expects to report a net loss for the year rather than the profit it had previously been forecasting.