As High-Frequency-Trading rapes and pillages its way across global capital markets, perhaps it is no surprise that the country that gave the world 'Vikings' would be the first to stand up to the computerized hordes. In a breakthrough moment of clarity, The Financial Times reports, the Oslo Stock Exchange will issue punitive changes to traders if they send too many orders into the exchange that do not result in deals being done.
This first-of-its-kind crackdown on 'Quote Stuffing' comes after the exchange has seen a surge in the number of orders flooding its systems and while the bourse does not quite go so far as to say HFT is "in itself necessarily negative for the market", it says the placement and cancellation frequency of trades has reduced the efficiency of its market. Bente Landsnes, chief executive of Oslo Bors, said: "A market participant does not incur any costs by inputting a disproportionately high number of orders to the order book, but this type of activity does cause indirect costs that the whole market has to bear. The measure we are announcing will help to reduce unnecessary order activity that does not contribute to improving market quality. This will make the market more efficient, to the benefit of all its participants." From September 1st the exchange will limit each trader to 70 orders for every trade executed and any excess of that ratio will be charged $0.0008 per order. We are sure the NASDAQ, wanting to make up for its SNAFBU, will be next in line to punish the pernicious penny-pinchers.
Naturally, we fully expect those very much irrelevant, and lately totally tarnished US trading venues such as the now 'butt of all jokes' Nasdaq, to attempt to poach even more lowest common denominator HFT traffic from Europe, and provide even more "liquidity" rebates to Algo-Matic, in the process pushing electronic trading as a % of total nearly to triple digits.