ASX chief calls trade outage ‘unacceptable’

ASX CEO Dominic Stevens apologises for recent trade suspension, as the exchange publishes report on what happened.

Chief executive officer of the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), Dominic Stevens, has said a recent trading halt due to a hardware malfunction was unacceptable.

He explained in a statement responding to the event that it was “unacceptable to the market and unacceptable to ASX.”

Stevens said the exchange’s first priority was to ensure the market functioned normally and reliably when it finally reopened on Tuesday. 

On Monday this week, ASX was forced to suspend trading following a hardware malfunction in its equities trading database.

The hardware failure led to “knock-on consequences” throughout the day, with delayed openings and no closing auction.

Stevens said the malfunction was “complex and unprecedented,” adding that it took time to investigate properly and involved input from third party vendors.

The usual opening time of 10am was delayed to 11.30am, though an “operational error” meant the staggered opening caused further trading failures.

By 3.35pm, ASX announced that the market would not re-open and there would be no closing single price auction.

Stevens concluded: “ASX plays a critical role in Australia’s financial markets and it’s important that market stakeholders are fully informed about recent events.”

A report on the incident has been published on ASX’s website.