Asian Equities Start the Week Higher

Asian stocks shrugged off a dismal lead from Wall Street to open higher, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 scoring a fresh 15-year high early Monday.

However, risks regarding a potential Greek exit from the euro zone remained in the backdrop after the country’s interior minister, Nikos Voutsis, threatened to default on loan repayments due to the International Monetary Fund on Sunday.  Meanwhile, bourses in Hong Kong and South Korea are closed for public holidays.

U.S. equities ended weaker on Friday, failing to hold highs touched during the session, after Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen indicated that a rate hike would be appropriate this year if the economy improves. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 shed 0.3 and 0.2 percent, respectively, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq finished flat.