Technical issue forces early closure on TSX as markets fall

01 Mars, 2020, 04:19 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • A sign board displaying Toronto Stock Exchange stock information is seen

The S&P/TSX composite index was down as much as 821 points after a technical problem forced an early end to trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday. The S&P 500 index was down 74.56 points at 2,904.20, while the Nasdaq composite was down 152.12 points at 8,414.36.

The trouble on the exchange came amid heaving trading as investors have been selling off stocks amid fears that the novel coronavirus outbreak that began in China will hurt the global economy. "We apologize for the inconvenience".

"Due to the nature of the issue, TMX was unable to engage disaster recovery systems in time to ensure an orderly market re-open and closing session".

Trading on Thursday was suspended early after what TMX Group, which operates the exchange, said was a system capacity issue within the messaging technology component of its trading engine.

TMX said it has taken measures to mitigate the risk of recurrence, including significantly increasing the capacity of this component.

"Please be aware that the Montréal Exchange will halt trading on all Equity Derivative Instruments and place all instruments in a pre opening state", it said in a statement posted to Twitter. "You're looking at what's happening in the USA, and not being able to do anything in Canada".

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"Alternative markets were open, but it makes it very hard for the average investor to rebalance, or even their adviser to work within their existing portfolio".

It partially recovered to move slightly below the 10 per cent correction threshold but was still the worst day in 15 months, losing 454.39 points or 2.7 per cent to close at 16,263.05. "It's more of an issue if you wanted to say, sell for cash, and you were going to do it in the last two hours of the day".

The London Stock Exchange had technical software issue last August that delayed its opening by close to two hours and also had a delayed opening in June 2018, and before that during a session in 2011.

The 2018 incident was caused by a hardware failure in a central storage appliance of the trading system, the company said.

TMX's CEO at the time Lou Eccleston said the company was committed to applying the lessons learned from this incident to help it prevent such issues from recurring in the future.

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