Asian market investors treaded cautiously on Wednesday (June 7) as potentially market moving political developments are set to unravel in major economies on Thursday.
The UK general election is scheduled to be held on June 8, where Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative party's strong lead, having been potentially wiped out as the election date, drew nearer. Opinion polls have suggested a neck-and-neck race between the Tory and Labour parties, which may cause the uncertainty to extend well into Friday in the event of a hung parliament.
Across the Atlantic, former FBI head James Comey is scheduled to testify in front of the Senate Committee on Thursday, in light of allegations against US President Donald Trump's administration's communications with Russia. The outcome of the testimony could put Trump's future at the White House into question, thereby causing an upheaval in financial markets.
"For Asian equity markets, the key focus could be the reaction in US markets from former FBI director James Comey's testimony that could potentially lift risk sentiment," remarked IG Singapore Market Analyst Jingyi Pan.
However, other major developments have been overshadowed by the political anxiety surrounding the US and UK. Major Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates' severing of diplomatic ties with Qatar could upend oil prices, with the Brent Crude currently showing little volatility through a 0.12% decrease, ending at $50.06 (£38.75) per barrel during midday trading hours in Asia.
Furthermore, the European Central Bank has scheduled a monetary policy meeting on Thursday as well. With the Eurozone economy proving to be a surprise success story, expectations point to the bank's loose monetary policy to continue.
The following stock quotes were logged on 6:31 am BST:
Japan: Nikkei- Up by 0.22% to 20,022.87
Hong Kong: Hang Seng- Up by 0.01% to 26,000.46
China: Shanghai Composite- Up by 1.12% to 3,136.982
Australia: S&P/ASX- Up by 0.19% to 5,678.301
Singapore: Straits Times Index- Up by 0.18% to 3,241.50
India: Sensex- Up by 0.37% to 31,306.34