ASX software glitch hiccups trading

ASX software glitch hiccups trading

By Siobhan Chapman

Trading ground to a halt for more than three hours at the Australian Stock Exchange yesterday due to a software problem taking down its automated trading system, officials said.

Brokers across the country were unable to complete trades for more than three hours yesterday when the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), which claims it has an uptime of 99.8 per cent, experience a "software problem" according to officials.

ASX's Stock Exchange Automated Trading System (SEATS), which runs the equity, warrants and fixed interest markets, encountered a problem during the opening of the market day at 10:06 am local time, according to an official statement.

"This led to potential corruption of key trade and order data, and accordingly the market was suspended," said the statement.

When asked if ASX have a fully redundant mirrored system in place, ASX spokesperson Gervase Green said "We have a lot of redundancy back ups. We have parallel systems and sites. If software is involved, it is different. More common software runs across systems. ASX even have back up service providers".

"But at some point, I'm sure, we may find software that's shared [during the post mortem]," he added.

The possibility of human error has also not been ruled out, according to Green.

Green said the ASX is investigating its servers to determine the cause of the problem once the market closes and during the weekend, and will notify the market next week.

"The issue for post–mortem is to find out what extent the problem is avoidable and that we can take steps to prevent [trading halt] happening again," he said.

Green could not disclose which software the problem occurred with, saying ASX uses many different types of software from different providers and also uses software built in-house. The ASX conducted a comprehensive review before full trading was restored at 1.25 pm."Our first concern was to have the market up and running," Green said.

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