Tokyo Stock Exchange System Glitch Halts Trading for Entire Day

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In Brief
  • A hardware failure caused the Tokyo Stock Exchange to suspend trading for a whole day.

  • The stoppage is the longest in the exchange's entire history.

  • Initial reports suggest that the failure is not the result of a cyber attack.

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The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations building standards of transparency.

On Oct 1, a technical glitch caused the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) to grind to a halt. The incident marks the first time trading on the world’s third-largest exchange has been disrupted for an entire day.

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The problem was discovered on Thursday morning in Tokyo before trading opened, postponing the session’s start. A few hours later, Japan Exchange Group Inc., operator of the TSE, announced that trading would be suspended for the whole day.

According to the official announcement, the interruption was “due to a hardware failure, the switchover from the failed device to the backup device did not work properly, and as a result, market information could not be distributed.”

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The TSE is currently scrambling to replace the hardware in question and take steps to ensure normal trading resumes on Friday. However, its worst-ever outage is likely to raise questions about the reliability of Asia’s largest exchange (by market capitalization) at a time when Japan is angling to become the region’s leading financial hub.

The failure was the first all-day stoppage of trading on the TSE since the exchange transitioned to a fully-electronic system in 1999. There were previous major system glitches in the 2000s, but these only affected part of the trading day.

For its part, the TSE said it “sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience caused to investors.” After the incident, in a press conference, chief cabinet secretary Katsunobu Kato called the glitch “very regrettable.” He also stated that there is no evidence of a cyberattack. Despite Kato’s denials, it didn’t take long for speculation of a malicious attack to surface.

Regardless of the cause, the glitch has shuttered one of the only Asian stock markets slated to be open on Oct 1. Per Nikkei, Chinese markets are closed due to the Golden Week holiday period, while exchanges in Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan are also closed.

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Colin is a writer, researcher, and content marketer with a keen interest in the future of money. His writing has been featured in numerous cryptocurrency publications, and his holdings don't amount to more than a handful of BAT.

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