Asian Equities Higher on U.S. Lead

Asian markets saw marginal gains on the first trading day of the week, tracking an inspiring lead from the U.S. on Friday.

China’s trade data for March is on tap at 0900 SIN/HK. Annual export growth is seen falling to 12 percent from February’s 48 percent surge, according to a Reuters poll, while import growth is seen to have slid 11.7 percent on-year last month, compared with February’s 20.5 percent contraction.

On Friday, U.S. stocks finished higher, with the blue-chip Dow breaching 18,000 for the first time this month, as investors looked ahead to the official start of earnings season. While some companies like Alcoa have already reported quarterly earnings, the earnings season will get into full swing with reports from Dow components like JPMorgan Chase and Intel.