London exchange hit by rare outage

The London Stock Exchange's hour-long outage left some traders frustrated and highlighted the need for better back-up plans.
The London Stock Exchange's hour-long outage left some traders frustrated and highlighted the need for better back-up plans.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • The London Stock Exchange (LSE) resumed trading an hour late after its opening auction was delayed, the first major outage of its kind in seven years.

Regular trading on LSE commenced at 9am as the opening auction was postponed due to a technical issue that has been resolved, the exchange said yesterday.

The 217-year-old bourse operates one of Europe's largest cash equity markets.

LSE's main equity market and Alternative Investment Market were among those hit. Some traders were left frustrated by the delayed opening and said market operators should have better back-up plans.

"There should be some other mechanism that allows it to be counteracted," said Mr Atif Latif, director of trading at Guardian Stockbrokers in London.

"On a heavy dividend day and with the recent price volatility, we had to gauge prices based on the European market and index futures. It does highlight a lack of contingency plans when these issues arise, given the heavy investment in IT and infrastructure."

LSE in recent months has also experienced issues with its regulatory news announcements. It has been without a permanent chief executive since Mr Xavier Rolet departed in November, although the exchange has Mr David Warren running the LSE in the interim.

The new chief, former Goldman Sachs executive David Schwimmer, is due to start in August.

The London bourse's last major outage was in 2011, after it moved to a new platform called MillenniumIT. Sri Lanka-based Millennium Information Technologies is the LSE unit that develops high-performance trading systems and financial markets software.

Last month, LSE said it was setting up a new business centre in Bucharest, Romania, employing 200 people to deliver technology and data services.

The benchmark index FTSE 100 was little changed as of 10.34am in London trading.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 08, 2018, with the headline 'London exchange hit by rare outage'. Print Edition | Subscribe