Systems glitch hits TSE trading

Systems glitch hits TSE trading

The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) was forced to suspend trading in a key futures contract after its recently-installed derivatives trading platform was hit by a systems glitch.

According to press reports, the glitch forced TSE to halt trading in March futures contracts for the Topix index just before the close of morning trading.

Trade remained halted throughout the afternoon, preventing traders from closing positions in the contract.

Markets in Japan are closed on Monday for a national holiday but the bourse is unsure if trading can resume on Tuesday, according to a Reuters report.

The derivatives system, which was developed by Fujitsu, went live last month following delays. Fujitsu is also working on a new trading platform to be rolled out by the TSE next year.

This latest incident has raised new concerns about the trading infrastructure at the TSE, which suffered a series of embarrassing and costly operational failures in late 2005 and 2006 which cost TSE president Takuo Tsurushima his job.

In November 2005 the TSE suffered a systems crash that halted trading for more than four hours, which was later blamed on Fujitsu. Just two week's later the TSE's computer systems failed to cancel a mistaken order from a fat-fingered Mizuho trader to sell 610,000 shares for one yen, instead of one share for Y610,000.

Furthermore in January 2006 the Tokyo exchange was was forced to close trading early after its system was unable to cope with a surge in sell orders.

Following these incidents TSE said in 2006 that it was investing around US$529 million on overhauling its Fujitsu-built trading technology.

But after inviting financial technology vendors to tender for the contract to overhaul the technology, the TSE eventually awarded the deal to Fujitsu.

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