European benchmarks were roundly higher at the close Friday following what was a volatile session for London, with British politics delivering yet another upset to pundits and pollsters alike.
The FTSE 100 closed 1.04% higher at 7,527 in London while the domestic FTSE 250 index eked out a 0.13% gain after recovering its earlier losses.
In Frankfurt the DAX added 0.80% to close at 12,816 while the CAC 40 gained 0.67% in Paris to close at 5,299. Both the FTSE MIB and the IBEX closed higher in southern Europe.
The headline news event was the outcome of the U.K. election, which resulted in a hung parliament Friday morning after voters shunned Theresa May's offer of "strong and stable leadership," and her Conservative Party, in favor of the left-wing Labour Party.
Polls had forecast that she would cling to a majority, of anything up to 100 seats, but instead the election closed with the incumbent eight short of the required majority after having lost 29 seats.
May was criticized for a manifesto blunder in which she was seen alienating her core vote with the removal of certain welfare benefits and subsidies for the retired, while the Labour Party's pledge to reverse Conservative Party austerity won over many swing voters.
In individual stocks, banks RBS (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group (LYG) were down 2.5% and 1.2% respectively by the close. REITs Great Portland Estates (GPEAF) and Land Securities (LSGOF) were both down nearly 1% also, given their heavy exposure to the London office market. House builders Crest Nicholson (CRTHF) , Berkeley Group and Bovis Homes (BVHMF) also all fell into the red for the session.
London's stock markets started out looking as if they were about to rerun June 24, the day after last year's referendum, only to come back strongly after May said she will enter into an informal coalition with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, which holds 10 seats following the vote.
Nonetheless, a hung parliament poses a risk to the timetable of the Britain's exit from the EU and consequently, brings the prospect of an exit on World Trade Organization terms into view.
Gainers were resource stocks and other dollar earners, such as Smurfit Kappa (SMFTF) , BP (BP) and emerging market bank Standard Chartered (SCBFF) . Centrica (CPYYY) stock gained more than 2% after it sold a gas business in Canada for around US$ 528 million.
Oil stocks were also buoyed in part by the next evolution in the growing crisis over Qatar. The Turkish parliament approved legislation Friday to send around 5,000 troops to Qatar in order to provide security as well as training to the domestic police force.
This was followed by reports that Arab nations are drawing up a sanctions list containing Qatari individuals and companies. As a member of the OPEC cartel, any sanctions against Qatari oil could amount to an under-the-table production cut.
Over in continental Europe, chemicals firm Bayer (BAYRY) and steel and industrial firm Thyssenkrupp (TYEKF) both topped the DAX index after the head of the European Commission called for stronger trade defense measures against overseas companies "dumping" products on the European market at cut prices.