Asian markets finished mixed on Friday as gaming shares tumbled in Hong Kong and South Korea's main index ended down before parliament voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye over an influence-peddling scandal.
The vote to impeach Park, Reuters reported, was announced in the late afternoon in Seoul.
Before the vote, the benchmark Kospi closed down 6.38 points, or 0.31 percent, at 2,024.69 at 2:30 p.m. HK/SIN. The Korean won strengthened from an earlier session low of 1,168.31 against the dollar before the news to around 1,164.26 after.
"A quick resolution and introduction of new leadership offers South Korea the best opportunity to move on from this political crisis and renew focus on the key issue facing the country — the urgent need to revamp the now stagnating chaebol-dominated economic model," said Liam Martin of FTI Consulting in a Wednesday note.
Martin noted an impeachment vote could take up to 180 days of review by the Constitutional Court before new elections were called, which suggested continued uncertainty for South Korean politics in the near future.
Japan's Nikkei 225 finished up 230.90 points, or 1.23 percent, at 18,996.37, notching four consecutive sessions of gains. The Topix index added 12.67 points, or 0.84 percent, to 1,525.36. Australia's ASX 200 advanced 16.98 points, or 0.31 percent, to 5,560.62, supported by a 1.09 percent gain in the energy sector and a 0.98 percent uptick in the heavily-weighted financial sector.
Chinese mainland shares finished mixed, with the Shanghai composite closing up 16.69 points, or 0.52 percent, at 3,232.06 and the Shenzhen composite finished down 7.36 points, or 0.35 percent, at 2,070.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index fell 0.56 percent, as gaming shares saw sharp losses following reports of Beijing taking aim at the Macau gaming industry in a bid to halt capital outflows.