Sterling tumbles; Asian markets open mixed following surprise exit poll



The Pound sterling has fallen after the General Election 2017 exit poll indicated the Conservatives may fall short of an overall majority.

By 00:00 GMT sterling had shed 1.8 percent to a two-month trough of 1.27 US dollars. It was also down 1.6 percent on the euro at 87.90 pence in trading in the wake of the poll, which was released after voting closed at 10 p.m. local time.

"It's clear that the election is a humiliation for the Tories, who blew a massive poll lead in just a few weeks," Sean Callow, senior currency analyst at Westpac, told Reuters.

He predicted a hung parliament would strip the sterling of all the gains made since the election was called and leave it wallowing around 1.2500 dollars.

The dramatic plunge in sterling came ahead of Asian markets opening, while foreign exchange trading volumes were relatively low.

Asian markets appeared to mostly shrug off the political uncertainty in the UK.

Hong Kong stocks opened flat on Friday following a lackluster lead from Wall Street, with traders unmoved by sacked FBI boss James Comey's congressional testimony over President Donald Trump's ties to Russia.

The Hang Seng index edged up 5.58 points to 26,068.64.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.09 per cent, or 2.88 points, to 3,147.45 and the Shenzhen Composite Index was flat, inching down 0.02 points to 1,852.40.

Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.74 percent and the Kospi gained 0.59 percent. Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 0.02 percent higher.

"Through Brexit and the US election and the flash crash, the market is much better prepared for these sorts of events,” said Bart Wakabayashi, Tokyo branch manager at State Street Global Markets, to Wall Street Journal.