The London Metal Exchange has been forced to delay the launch of its new LMEmini contracts by two weeks until 4 December after a software glitch shut down the Exchange's electronic dealing platform for two days last week.
Trading of copper, aluminium and nickel was forced back on to the open-outcry floor after the Exchange experienced software problems last week following an upgrade to a new LME Select 5 platform.
The Exchange says it has held exhaustive talks with Swedish vendor Cinnober Financial Technology since the systems crash and has decided to release the new minis contract on the existing Release 4 system.
Martin Abbott, LME Chief Executive, describes the delay as "disappointing and inconvenient but in the circumstances, the most prudent way forward".
He adds: "We are confident that Select 4, with LMEmini contracts added (Select 4 Plus), can deliver all of the trading functionality of Select 5."
The reversal is a serious embarrassment for the LME, which had earlier maintained that the LMEmini launch was on track for a 20 November start-date.
The new contracts will pit the London exchange against the New York Mercantile Exchange which is planning to release similar products over the Globex electronic dealing system operated by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.