Asian shares begin week in positive territory

Asian shares were mostly higher Monday, with Japan's key index snapping a two-day losing streak as investors hunted for bargains and looked ahead to corporate earnings.

The Nikkei 225 stock market added 0.4 percent to 10,313.16.

Honda Motor Co. led the country's top three automakers higher after a ratings upgrade from Nomura Securities Co. The issue jumped 3.2 percent, while rival Toyota Motor Co. added 1.2 percent.

Sentiment also improved on hopes for a robust earnings season. Japanese companies will start reporting their October-December results this week. Elsewhere, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.5 percent to 4,780.10.

South Korea's Kospi was down 0.1 percent to 2,069.71, and the Shanghai Composite index was down 0.1 percent to 2,713.01.

Benchmarks in Singapore and New Zealand gained ground.

But gains were limited across the region ahead of a two-day Federal Reserve meeting starting Tuesday. The Bank of Japan also began a two-day meeting Monday.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index slipped less than 0.1 percent to 23,861.26.

Wall Street ended the week Friday on a mixed note. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 49.04 points, or 0.4 percent, to close at 11,871.84, helped by strong profits at General Electric Co. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 3.09 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,283.35.

But technology stocks did not fare as well, with Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. losing more than 1 percent. The technology-focused Nasdaq composite index slid 14.75 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,689.54.

In currencies, the dollar was trading at 82.69 yen from 82.54 yen late Friday. The euro stood at $1.3603 from $1.362.

Benchmark crude for March delivery was up 19 cents to $89.30 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.