TMX exchanges operating normally Friday after glitch forced halt a day earlier

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TORONTO — TMX Group says trading activity is operating normally on its exchanges after a malfunction Thursday forced it to close trading early amid a major market sell off.

With trading resumed Friday, the Toronto Stock Exchange was trading down more than four per cent mid-morning as it caught up to the steep late-day sell off in U.S. markets a day earlier.

The company that runs the TSX, along with the TSX Venture, Alpha, and derivatives-focused Montreal Exchange, blamed the outage on a “system capacity issue” in the messaging system of its trading engine.

The glitch meant clients were unable to enter, modify or cancel open orders on its exchanges, leading TMX to halt trading a little before 2 p.m. and later clarifying it would remain closed for the day.

“TMX’s subsequent attempts to restart the trading system encountered further complications that could not be resolved in a timely manner during trading hours,” the company said in a statement late Thursday.

“Due to the nature of the issue, TMX was unable to engage disaster recovery systems in time to ensure an orderly market re-open and closing session.”

The company said the issue was not caused by a cyberattack, and that it had significantly increased capacity of the component that failed.

The last time TMX closed the TSX early was on April 27, 2018, due to internal technical issues, and the market was reopened the next trading day.

The 2018 incident was caused by a hardware failure in a central storage appliance of the trading system, the company said.

TMX’s CEO at the time Lou Eccleston said the company was committed to applying the lessons learned from this incident to help it prevent such issues from recurring in the future.

TMX is not the only exchange to be hit by outages.

The London Stock Exchange had technical software issue last August that delayed its opening by close to two hours and also had a delayed opening in June 2018, and before that during a session in 2011.

The New York Stock Exchange saw a four-hour outage during trading in 2015, though it returned to service shortly before closing.

The Nasdaq, meanwhile has been thwarted by rodents on at least two occasions. Both in 1987 and in 1994 trading on the exchange was knocked out after squirrels disrupted power supplies to exchange computers.

Companies in this story: (TSX:X)

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