LSE’s Longest Glitch in 8 Years Disrupts Trading in Big Stocks

August 17
09:04 2019

(Bloomberg) — The London Stock Exchange Group Plc suffered its longest glitch in 8 years, just weeks after the three-century old exchange unveiled plans to become a data and trading powerhouse.

Shares in the key FTSE 100 and the FTSE 250 indexes resumed trading at about 9:40 a.m. after an outage that lasted about an hour and 40 minutes, according to a statement. Companies in those benchmarks include HSBC Holdings Plc, BP Plc, and AstraZeneca Plc. The LSE also suffered a one-hour trading delay in June 2018 caused by a software issue.

Friday’s glitch comes as LSE agreed to snap up Refinitiv just weeks ago in a $ 27 billion blockbuster deal, betting on a future dominated by data. It also comes as investors are hit by rocky markets. The U.K.’s looming departure from the European Union, the U.S.-China trade dispute and concern about a recession are all causing price swings.

The London snag also meant that traders who deal in related securities and index trackers were flying blind without prices for the underlying stocks.

“The impact to us is quite large as we are FTSE index traders and the futures are open,” said John Moore, a trader at Berkeley Capital Wealth Management. Without seeing the underlying stock prices, it was difficult to know whether the futures price was “a true reflection of fair value on the FTSE.”

The LSE blamed the outage on a “technical software issue,” according to a statement.

Other global market exchanges have been hit with technical woes in the past few months. In the U.S., a technical error at exchange operator CME Group Inc. in February this year caused a trading halt of about three hours, preventing the buying and selling of contracts tied to U.S. Treasuries, stock futures and commodities.

Apple Inc., Google parent Alphabet Inc. and other major stocks had a bizarre last few minutes of trading this week, as data glitches hampered U.S. markets for a second day.

(Adds Refinitiv deal in third paragraph.)

To contact the reporters on this story: Jan-Patrick Barnert in Frankfurt at [email protected];Harry Wilson in London at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Ambereen Choudhury at [email protected], Keith Campbell

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©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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