South Korean stocks went up due to growing political uncertainty after President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment ruling.
The Kospi index rose 0.17 percent after the Constitutional Court upheld a parliament vote made late 2016 to impeach Park Geun-hye. Park will now leave the office immediately and snap elections must be held within 60 days for her replacement.
Huge crowds of supporters and critics of Park came together in downtown Seoul, with thousands waving the flag of Korea and hollering on top of buses. The police have dispatched more than 20,000 officers to stand guard in the central areas.
Asia Pacific chief economist of at HIS Markit, Rajiv Biswas, said that this decision will drive South Korea “into near-term political uncertainty and the likely further escalation of economic risks facing South Korea.”
The country is “entering a political vacuum at a time when tensions with North Korea have escalated to crisis point” and when relations with China are tense, Biswas added.
South Korean companies conducting business in China experience pressure, including boycotts and cyber-attacks due to the anti-missile defense system deployed by the U.S. which Beijing sees as a threat. According to data from HIS Markit, exports from China consist of around 25.1 percent of total South Korean exports
In other Asian markets, the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.03 percent and the Shenzhen composite went up 0.253 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.08 percent.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index gained 1.25 percent as the yen weakened against the dollar.
Australia’s ASX 200 was up 0.56 percent.