'Black mark' for Australia exchange as glitch halts trading for the day


Exchange operator ASX issued a notice on Monday morning saying a technical issue with a function managing individual shares has delayed the opening of the market.

"It is important infrastructure for Australia and it is not acceptable that it goes down like that, really, that's the cold reality of the situation", said Andrew Green, chief executive, Stockbrokers Association of Australia. ASX was forced to suspend the market again less than three hours later, before closing it for the rest of the day.

ASX sysadmins struggled to keep the system up and running, taking two hours to restore trading service for about 75 percent of all securities, and eventually returning service for all operations by 1:00 PM local time.

ASX said in a media statement that the market would not re-open on 19 September, and there would be no closing single price auction.

After a 90-minute delay at market open, groups of stocks were released throughout the day, leaving traders frustrated and confused.

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One of the stock brokers, Mathan Somasundaram expressed concerns that much of the turnover was lost on Monday as it costed the whole industry.

"We apologise for this morning's disruption". I continue to trade a $US0.7560 to $US0.7450 range, but am happy to take direction on a break either side of this range.

Bonds and futures also trade on the exchange, but their trading was not disrupted by Monday's glitch.

The S&P/ASX 200 was down in early trade, but recovered to be nearly unchanged at 0030 GMT, as traders look overseas for direction, ahead of crucial central bank meetings in the United States and Japan. "This isn't the first time we've seen a problem with the ASX". It's interesting to see the China A-shares premium over the H-shares (Chinese companies traded in Hong Kong - see lower Bloomberg chart) is now at the lowest premium since 2014 as investors see greater "value" in Hong Kong. "We are more reliant on these systems than we ever have been", he told reporters.