Australian Stock Market's Turn to Go Dark

Last week, the London Stock Exchange experienced an embarrassing outage involving its new trading system that lasted four hours and left many traders angry.

Now there is word that the Australian Securities Exchange's (ASX) new trading platform had to be shut down at 1448 local time Monday because of the inability to send trade "confirmation messages" to about 20% of the market, the Herald Sun reported. The problem first arose about 30 minutes before ASX officials decided a fix wasn't forthcoming and the exchange had to be completely shut down. The ASX normally closes at 1600.

According to this story at the Sydney Morning Herald, an exchange official said they did not yet know if it was a hardware or software issue that was causing the problem. In addition, ASX did not know if the problem would be fixed in time for Tuesday morning trading, although all trades made before the stoppage on Monday would be honored.

The Herald reported that the closure, given past average trading volumes, meant about A$1.5 billion in trading was likely lost, as well.

The ASX adopted the Nasdaq Genium INET trading platform (see PDF here) last November. At least the ASX was able to operate a few months with their new trading system before having a problem, unlike the LSE.

Speaking of the LSE, there is a report today that the LSE has inadvertently hosted a virus-infected advert on its web site.

When it rains, it pours.

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