Politics, not economic or financial data, dictated market movements for the day. Major regional indices displayed mixed signals on Friday (June 9) after the announcement of a hung parliament in the UK.
As the week draws to a close, the outcome of the UK general elections left the sterling, which was already in a precarious position, fall by as much as 2% against the dollar. UK Prime Minister Theresa May's incumbency has now veered towards uncertainty as Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn called for her resignation.
Across the Atlantic, further political uncertainty has arisen in the aftermath of former FBI head James Comey's testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. While there were expectations for some clarity on US President Donald Trump and his administration's relationship with Russian officials, the testimony's outcome raised further questions in that regard.
"There has been a sizeable focus on former FBI Director Comey's testimony, but again, for those looking for a smoking gun that detailed Trump obstructed justice, they didn't hear it in the testimony", remarked IG Melboure Market Analyst Chris Weston.
"As expected, it was a market moving event."
The following index quotes were logged on 7:23 am BST:
Japan: Nikkei- Up by 0.52% to 20,012.50
The Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry revealed that Japan's tertiary activity rose by 1.2% month-over-month in April, after a 0.3% drop in March.
Telecommunications and internet firm Softbank Group (+7.43%) and beleaguered electronics conglomerate Toshiba (+5.32%) emerged as the index's strongest performers.
Hong Kong: Hang Seng- Down by 0.45% to 25,946.52
Internet giant Tencent Holdings (+2.56%), along with banking and financial services firms such as Bank of East Asia (+0.61%), BOC Hong Kong Holdings (+0.29%), and AIA Group (0.27%) reported some of the strongest gains within the index.
China: Shanghai Composite- Up by 0.16% to 3,155.372
The National Bureau of Statistics revealed that China's inflation surged to a four-month high of 1.5% in May from 1.2% in April. However, the rate remained below the government target of 3% for the year of 2017.
Australia: S&P/ASX- Up by 0.11% to 5,682.898
Singapore: Straits Times Index- Up by 0.36% to 3,248.68
India: Sensex- Down by 0.16% to 31,163.53