Wall Street and Nyse on back up after blackout

Wall Street and Nyse on back up after blackout

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) will open for trading as normal today and Wall Street will be ready for business on time despite the power failure across the north-eastern United States and southern Canada as trading drew to a close on Thursday.

Reuters says the Nyse, Nasdaq and most major Wall Street firms were forced to switch to back up generators and carry out contingency plans following the power cut, which hit the area just after 4pm on Thursday.

According to the report, no data from Thursday's trading on the Nyse was lost, and the exchange's processing and systems operation subsidiary, Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC), was working on back up generator power.
Nasdaq says it will also open according to the normal market schedule. The exchange's network and data centres are fully operational on back up power.

The Toronto Stock Exchange is also expected to open on time. The exchange switched to back up power sources and says that operations were not distrupted by the blackout and no data was lost.

Only the American Stock Exchange appeared to be struggling, as trading was delayed due to the outage of a ConEd substation that supplies steam to cool the Exchange's trading floor. The Amex had generators on the site last evening, and its trading systems are fully operational. However, for the systems to operate in a live environment, the atmosphere must be climate controlled to maintain the functionality and integrity of the technology.

Amex says that it is in the process of deploying a portable generator as an interim measure and that its back-up facility is fully operational and available in the event that the situation cannot be resolved.

In a statement, the US Bond Markets Association (BMA) says it anticipates a normal trading day, with settlement occuring in the regular way. The BMA adds that the Bank of New York, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Chase and the Fixed Income Clearing Corporation (FICC) will also be operating normally.

The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC) says it expects its subsidiaries to be operating normally today to clear and settle trades from US markets. The DTCC indicated that its multiple operating sites and own power generators allowed it to continue normal processing functions when the power went down. The corporation says it completed settlement yesterday without problems.

The power cut also forced banks and firms to switch to emergency back up systems. Citigroup was reported to have 'invoked business continuity plans to cope with the blackout and the power outage shut down nearly all cash machines in the area, altough the major ATM computer networks were reported to be operating as normal on back up power. Reuters says that both Citibank and Chase ATMs were down, along with Washington Mutual and Bank of New York machines.

However, the Bank of New York's data systems, which hold account records, were said to be 'functioning normally'. By 6.31 am EDT, the bank had restored power to about one-third of its New York City cash machine network.

The Bank of Canada says it has assembled a small team of bank staff at its back-up facility in Ottowa and is monitoring the performance of payment and settlement systems.

Foreign exchange desks at the major investment banks switched to voice broking or shut down entirely when the power went down late yesterday, trimming some of the gains in the US dollar. Reuters says there was some uncertainty among traders about whether trading would resume normally on Friday and whether the outage might disrupt the settlement of trades overnight.

Electricity is slowly returning to the area, with power restored in parts of the Bronx, Westchester County and Long Island. However Manahattan is still largely without power.

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