South Korean equities rose slightly amid growing political uncertainty after President Park Geun-hye's impeachment ruling.
The benchmark Kospi gained 0.3 percent or 6.3 points to close at 2,097.35 after the Constitutional Court upheld a parliament vote made late last year to impeach Park. She will now leave the office immediately and snap elections must be held within 60 days for her replacement.
Large crowds of supporters and critics of Park gathered in downtown Seoul in rowdy and intense sloganeering, with thousands waving the national flag and clamoring on top of buses. The police stepped up security in the central areas and mobilized more than 20,000 officers to stand guard.
This decision will drive South Korea "into near-term political uncertainty and the likely further escalation of economic risks facing South Korea," said Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit, in a Friday note.
Biswas added that 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.
South Korean companies doing business in China have faced pressure, including boycotts and cyber-attacks, over the U.S.-deployed anti-missile defense system which Beijing views as a threat. The trade relationship is an important one for South Korea, whose exports to China account for 25.1 percent of total South Korean exports, according to data from IHS Markit.
Meanwhile, the won opened weaker in onshore trade at 1,161 per dollar versus 1,158.1 at the previous close. At 2:45 pm HK/SIN, the won was stronger against the dollar, at 1,156.33.