Toronto stock market follows London on Wednesday with system software failure : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Toronto stock market follows London on Wednesday with system software failure

TORONTO, April 5 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange, Canada's largest bourse, had a systems breakdown two minutes before its usual 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT) close on Wednesday, the same day the London Stock Exchange suffered one of its worst technical failures.

The Toronto bourse issued a statement saying it shut the market at 3:58 p.m. because of "a system software failure".

The trading system glitch prevented the usual half-hour wrap-up between 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. that allows participants to trade stocks at the closing prices and tie up loose ends, spokesman Steve Stojanovski said.

"The TSE decided that the last sale trading session would be canceled since participating organizations were unable to complete their orders within the last minute of trading," the statement said.

The London Stock Exchange said on Wednesday it would extend trading by two hours to 6:30 p.m (1730 GMT) after unspecified technical difficulties kept it from opening for about eight hours. It finally opened at 3:45 p.m. London time, instead of the usual 8 a.m.

Dealers were outraged by the problems, which were the second this week.

Toronto's disruptions come after substantial breakdowns on March 7 that left the market halted for more than 2-1/2 hours during the session.

Irwin Michael, portfolio manager at ABC Funds, said his company was caught by the gremlin on Wednesday and saw some trades quashed. "It's happened at inopportune times and unexpectedly, and tests investors' patience," particularly at a time when the market has been so skittish and frenetic, Michael said.

On Wednesday the Toronto Stock Exchange's benchmark 300 composite index had wobbled from negative to positive several times, finally ending 84.69 points higher at 9226.53 points.

On Tuesday it plunged nearly 700 points -- its biggest intraday fall -- but staged a partial recovery, finishing the session down 233.09 points, or 2.5 percent, at 9141.64. ($1=$1.45 Canadian)

-- Carl Jenkins (, April 06, 2000

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