Tokyo trade halted for day after glitch: exchange

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Trading in Tokyo's stock markets, which are among the world's biggest, was halted for the whole day Thursday after the system was hit by one of its worst ever glitches.

The Nagoya Stock Exchange, Fukuoka Stock Exchange and Sapporo Securities Exchange - which all use the TSE's system - have also shuttered trading for the day, according to local media. There was a bit more than a half hour outage. Any efforts to draw a broader range of participants into the market require systems that can support stable trading.

Japan's $6.15 trillion stock market is the third-largest in the world behind the US and China.

The problem was the exchange's first significant glitch since 2018, when a trading system problem left some securities firms unable to make orders. The exchange made the decision to call off trading for the entire day after conferring with market participants, who said it would be hard to deal with their clients and carry out orders.

The decision not to open for the rest of the day was taken around noon, with Japan Exchange Group giving no further details on the cause.

Makoto Sengoku, a market analyst at Tokai Tokyo Research Institute Co., said he'll be watching the reaction in the TSE Mothers Index, the main gauge for startup companies in Japan.

Providing even partial information would have let ordinary investors better judge when trading was likely to come back online.

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A series of computer issues in the mid-2000s led to the resignation of the exchange president. Trading was halted for 4 1/2 hours in 2005 due to a botched system upgrade, the first time equity trading had been completely suspended. Advertisement The trading halt was announced just before markets were set to open at 9 a.m.in Japan.

The system was developed by Japanese tech giant Fujitsu.

The glitch is not the TSE's first technical problem, occasionally encountering other errors over the years, though trading is rarely outright halted.

The current Arrowhead system was installed in November 2019, officials said, with equipment supplied by Fujitsu.

The officials said they were planning to replace hardware in time to have the TSE reopen on Friday morning.

A senior official from the Financial Services Agency, a government watchdog, said that having markets halted for an entire day is a "serious matter", adding: "We have to stay on alert until we confirm that trading has resumed tomorrow".

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