Computer Glitch Halts Trading In ING Stock On Euronext After Volume Spike
It appears the computers are so used to low volume daily drifts higher that they literally are unable to handle i) spikes in volume and ii) sharp downward moves. Today, NYSE's Euronext subsidiary was so inundated with massive selling volume in ING that it decided to take a cigarette break and shut down trading in the company altogether.
More than 99 million shares in the biggest Dutch financial-
services company changed hands before a computer problem halted
the stock at 4:30 p.m. in Amsterdam, according to data compiled
by Bloomberg. Volume was almost six times the daily average for
the last six months, the data show.
Trading jumped in Amsterdam-based ING after it agreed
yesterday to sell its insurance units and raise 7.5 billion
euros in a rights issue to secure European Union approval for a
government bailout. The stock tumbled 6.1 percent to 8.98 euros
in Europe after plunging 18 percent yesterday in trading that
exceeded 91 million shares.
“Investors are paying the exchange to be able to deliver
seamless uninterrupted trading even at the worst possible time,”
said Mamoun Tazi, European exchange analyst at MF Global Ltd.
“This is a demanding time in the market.”
However, this will never be an issue in America where nobody trades on open exchanges anymore, as all the trading is executed on Goldman's SIGMA X (ok, we exaggerate... a little), and also there will never be any more trading spikes since computers now are in charge of all the volume. This is the case, of course, unless there is some devious scheme by one group of computers to short circuit another group of computers and send them an exorbitant amount of shares for churning purposes (there is no other reason to trade these days).
And while Duncan Niederauer is busy these days, spending most of his time in Washington lobbying with the big boys to make sure the NYSE has at least a few more quarters of revenue generation, he may want to take a closer look at replacing some of the 386 SX chips that seem to run the bulk of the exchange's European infrastructure:
The malfunction is the latest to affect Euronext this year.
Its owner, NYSE Euronext, had to delay the start of trading on
its stock markets in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon by
about 45 minutes on April 20 because of a technical problem with
the new trading system.
“We will do everything possible to prevent this from
happening in the market,” said Alice Jentink, an NYSE Euronext
In the meantime, we are eagerly awaiting the NYSE's release of dark pool trading volume so we can supplant our VWAP chart with what the real stock trading picture has been over the past 6 months where it seems nobody trades away from dark venue any more.