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ASX down, blames glitch

Traders curse screens, mark time

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Unexplained “technical difficulties” have frozen the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) since shortly after 10am this morning, 27 October.

As a result, the exchange has placed a halt on all trading, termed “enquiry mode”. There is no word from the exchange on what has caused the problem or when trading will be resumed. The resumption process will be slow, since once its systems are back online, the exchange will also have to follow a process for trading to start again, so that traders can sort out their orders.

The exchange has also stated that the 6,700 trades made before the exchange shut down will need to be reviewed.

In August this year, the ASX began moving its long-held data centre premises in the CBD, spending $32 million relocating to a new facility in Gore Hill, in a building formerly home to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. One reason given for the move was a need to expand its colocation facilities for traders’ servers, to facilitate the growth in “high frequency trading”.

However, the organisation says the crash is unrelated to the move, since it is not yet trading at Gore Hill, and says it is working with Nasdaq OMX, its software supplier, to work out what has taken place.

At the time of writing, the ASX had yet to announce any improvement in system status. Some Twitter chat suggests that today is option expiry day, making the timing of the collapse a serious crisis. ®

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