TSE computers crash for 24 minutes; all trading halted

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TSE computers crash for 24 minutes; all trading halted WebPosted Wed Jan 31 16:18:48 2001

TORONTO - Computer problems forced a halt to all trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange for more than 20 minutes late Wednesday afternoon.

A spokesman for the exchange blamed the outage on a "trading engine failure" which prevented all trading from 3:28 p.m. ET to 3:52 p.m. ET, a critical time for anyone hoping to buy or sell just before the scheduled 4 p.m. ET close.

By the time the TSE's computers were back online, there were just eight minutes remaining in the trading day. The TSE 300 Composite Index, which was up about 25 points before the trading failure, ended the day down 26 points at 9321.90.

This isn't the first failure of some component of the TSE's computer system. Last October, the TSE had to suspend trading in Nortel for four hours after its computers couldn't cope with the volume of Nortel sell orders. Last August, the TSE shut down for 55 minutes because of technical problems. Last June, the TSE again had difficulty processing Nortel orders. And last March 7, the TSE opened an hour late because of a glitch in the TSE's order management system.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), January 31, 2001

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