Samsung Electronics rebounded 1.43 percent and SK Hynix gained 0.82 percent.
Shipbuilders were mostly in negative territory, with Samsung Heavy down 1.81%.
After a stellar 2017 and a January that saw record and multi-year highs around the world, traders are scurrying to the hills this month as a strong economic outlook - particularly in the USA - healthy corporate earnings and rising inflation have sent borrowing costs surging. Hyundai Heavy Industries slipped 0.38 percent after it reported a miss on fourth-quarter earnings on Friday after the market close. Energy-related stocks were down 1.06% in the morning after oil prices slid for the sixth straight session on Friday. Santos fell 1.24 percent and Beach Energy lost 3.31 percent. Australian retailers were in the red, with Myer underperforming its peers in the sector and trading down 4.7%.
Tokyo was closed for a public holiday.
The heavily weighted financials sub-index was off by 0.64 percent. In the mainland, however, Shanghai Composite closed trade with a growth of 0.78% to 3,154.13 points.
"With powerful USA economic signals and interest rates most certainly to rise quicker than expected, last week's tumult could be little more than the start of the equity rollercoaster", said Stephen Innes, head of Asia-Pacific trading at OANDA.
Markets stateside closed higher in the last session although last week was their worst in two years. The Nasdaq composite added 1.4 per cent, to 6,874.49. On Friday, the DAX tumbled 1.2 per cent, the CAC 40 dropped 1.4 per cent and the FTSE 100 shed 1.1 per cent.
"The severity of the falls globally. suggest we may have already seen the worst, but with bond yields likely to go back up further and uncertainty about how much the unwinding of short volatility positions has to go, further weakness can not be ruled out in the short term", Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at chief economist of AMP Capital, said in a Friday note. US West Texas Intermediate edged up 0.29% to trade at $59.37 per barrel after falling below the $59 level on Friday for the first time this year.
Seoul gained 0.9 percent, with traders cheered by signs of a thaw in relations between North and South Korea during the Winter Olympics after Kim Jong Un - whose sister attended the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang - invited the South's President Moon Jae-in for a summit in Pyongyang.
CURRENCY: The dollar declined to 108.59 yen from Friday's 108.79 yen. Against the yen, the dollar was mostly stable at 108.77 at 8:06 a.m. HK/SIN.