ASX suffers hours-long outage

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) was frozen for several hours yesterday after the launch of a new trading platform caused software issues.

The index was first frozen at around 10.30am and remained closed for the rest of the day.

An initial statement from the market said: “The ASX equity market is currently paused and there is no trading while we investigate market data issues. ASX apologises for the disruption and is working to rectify the issue as soon as possible”.

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A later update at 3pm said the issue had been identified and it was working on a resolution that would allow the exchange to open on Tuesday.

“A software issue limited to the trading of multiple securities in a single order (combination trading) created inaccurate market data,” it said.

“Today was the go-live for the refreshed ASX Trade system, which is the trading platform for ASX’s equity market. ASX, our technology provider Nasdaq, customers and independent specialist third parties conducted extensive testing for over a year, including four dress rehearsals, in preparation for today’s go-live.”

Dominic Stevens, managing director of the ASX, said: “The outage falls short of the high standards we set ourselves and the standards others expect of us.

“Notwithstanding the extensive testing and rehearsals, and the involvement of our technology provider, ASX accepts responsibility. The obligation to get this right and provide a reliable and resilient trading system for the market rests with us.”

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission described the outage as a "significant concern" and said it would be requesting a full incident report from the ASX on how it occurred.

"ASIC views outages of this nature with significant concern. It has had a significant impact on the market including market participants and investors.

"Well-functioning financial market infrastructure is critical to the integrity and reputation of the Australian equity market and the trust and confidence investors have in it."

The ASX 200 was up 1.3% before the close with the top stock being Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield which was up 9.2% and NewsCorp which was up 3.8% while the biggest faller was Skycity Entertainment Group which fell 4%.

According to FE Analytics, the ASX 200 had lost 1.5% since the start of the year to 13 November.

Performance of ASX 200 since start of 2020 to 13 November 2020

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