Trading resumes "relatively smoothly" on Singapore stock market

Trading on the Singapore stock market opened "smooth and orderly" a day after trading was severely disrupted by a power outage.

The Straits Times Index, after dipping on opening, was up 14,13 points or 0.43 per cent at 3,301.79 around 11am.

Singapore Exchange's trading system continued to run smoothly throughout the first hour of trading, brokers said at around 10am on Thursday.

"Everything is back to normal, there has been no power outage so far," said remisier Charles Chua.

He added though that since the market has been so quiet these days, it took nearly half an hour for traders to notice on Wednesday afternoon that trading had halted.

"Even before the power outage, the market was already quite lacklustre, with small volumes. It took almost 20 to 30 minutes before we noticed the disruption, since there had been little or no fluctuations on the trading screen before that anyway. That's how quiet the market is."

Remisiers said the main inconvenience was that all their orders in the system had been purged and they had to re-enter them.

Mr Desmond Leong said that "when we came in we found that all the orders had been purged", and had to be "re-keyed in". 

"I sort of expected that to happen so I came in early at 8. But others may have been surprised," he said, adding: "Other than that, everything was orderly."

Noting that about 642,000 shares had been traded so far as at 11am, Mr Leong said that this volume was "nothing unusual, about the same as on a normal day".

Several investors interviewed by the Straits Times said that such trading disruptions would dent the reputation of SGX.

"We cannot have this kind of thing happen frequently," said Mr Ang Ah Ngee, 74, a retired accountant. He said he typically makes about two to three trades a day of $50,000 to $100,000 per counter.

"I would expect SGX's technical people to take care of it. It hurts the investing public, and not just them but also investors and fund managers who are based overseas. Singapore's reputation will be very bad."

He said that he was not personally affected since he usually looks at the market in the morning rather than after lunch, which was when Wednesday's market meltdown occurred.

"Generally if the stock market closes for even one or two days, I will be fine because I do not need to make any emergency trades. I don't buy anything if I don't already have the money to pay for it. It's just that opportunities will be gone."

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