SYDNEY (Bloomberg) - Asian stocks opened with volatile trading as early results from the British referendum on European Union membership filtered through.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.7 per cent to 130.93 as of 8:02 a.m. in Singapore. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.3 percent, while South Korea's Kospi index climbed 0.7 per cent. Japan's Topix climbed 0.5 per cent.
Traders are on edge Friday morning before a final decision is announced for the British vote. S&P 500 Index futures reversed an advance of as much as 0.7 per cent after results from Britain's European Union referendum in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and Sunderland showed greater support for leaving the bloc than academics had forecast.
"Markets are very nervy at the moment," said Joe Rundle, head of trading at ETX Capital, a brokerage in London. "The polls - and the markets - could be wrong."
The debate over Britain's future dominated trading in June, with anxiety over the economic impacts of a Brexit, and the boost it could give to anti-establishment sentiment globally, stoking market volatility around the world.
Concern that Britain could secede has whipsawed stock markets this month, wiping more than US$1 trillion from global equity values last week alone. Bookmakers have been predicting a much lower chance of a "Leave" vote since the murder of pro- Europe British lawmaker Jo Cox last week.