Software bugs set back OneChicago launch

Software bugs set back OneChicago launch

Single stock futures joint venture company oneChicago is to postpone its launch by two weeks to 8 November, after discovering software bugs in its trading platform during weekend user tests.

The problems were uncovered during a test held on Saturday in which 55 firms participated. During a nearly three-hour period, 563,000 test contracts (representing more than 56.3 million shares of common stock) were traded, 241,000 quotes were entered and more than 13,000 transactions were matched.

Late in the trading session OneChicago observed that bid prices of a few products failed to adjust as corresponding ask prices fell below certain price points. This occurred in four of the 72 products tested. OneChicago says it has identified the cause of the problem, which is expected to be resolved this week.

OneChicago says that its launch policy mandates that any code changes undergo testing and that the system be frozen for at least one week prior to the start of trading. Also before trading can begin, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) must approve OneChicago's customer margin rules. The public comment period on OneChicago's margin rules expired yesterday and the Exchange expects to receive a ruling from the SEC within the next 14 days.

News of the delay will be greeted with quiet satisfaction at rival venture Nasdaq Liffe Markets (NQLX), which publicly criticised OneChicago's slated launch date of 25 October as premature. NQLX is to begin trading on 8 November.

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