SEC promises swift action after trading glitch hits Nasdaq OMX

SEC promises swift action after trading glitch hits Nasdaq OMX

The US Securities and Exchange Commission is to convene a meeting of exchange heads and other market participants after a technical breakdown forced Nasdaq OMX to suspend trading for three hours Thursday.

Trading in all $5.65 trillion of Nasdaq-listed securities was halted following the failure of the Securities Industry Processor, which is used to consolidate and disseminate price quotes to the wider market.

While the problems with the SIP were rectified within 30 minutes, Nasdaq's handling of the breakdown was widely criticised by market participants as confusion reigned and the exchange remained shuttered for several hours.

Nasdaq OMX said the extended delay occurred as it worked with other exchanges, regulators and market participants to ensure an orderly re-opening of trading

In a statement, the Exchange says: "Nasdaq OMX will work with other exchanges that are members of the SIP to investigate the issues of today, and we will support any necessary steps to enhance the platform."

The issue has once again highlighted the complexity and fragility of the plumbing underpinning financial market infrastructures.

SEC chair Mary Jo White says the latest trading malfunction to hit the US financial markets will "reinforce our collective commitment to addressing technological vulnerabilities of exchanges and other market participants".

She said the watchdog is determined to introduce stronger safeguards to protect investors and inject confidence into the system: "As one step, I will work to advance rules that the Commission proposed earlier this year regarding new standards for the trading and other systems that are central to the integrity of our market. I also will shortly convene a meeting of the leaders of the exchanges and other major market participants to accelerate ongoing efforts to further strengthen our markets."

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