The London stock market seems to be trading normally now, after being stricken for more than an hour and a half.
Every sector is higher, with telecoms, financial stocks and healthcare leading the way.
But even so, investors didn’t need the drama, following the wild swings in asset prices we saw this week.
The BBC’s Victoria Fritz points out that nerves were already frazzled:
This is more like it!
The market has “transitioned to regular trading”, says the LSE’s status page, as it picks up the pieces following this morning’s debacle.
Bad news, City traders, you can’t bunk off to the pub to watch the cricket.
The London Stock Exchange has suddenly burst into life, as traders finally get the chance to trade on one of the world’s top stock markets.
The FTSE 100 has leapt by 53 points, or 0.75%, to 7121 points, recovering from yesterday’s six-month low (helped by hopes of central bank stimulus measures).
Telecoms group BT is the top riser, gaining 3%, followed by insurance group Hiscox (+2.6%) and broadcaster ITV (+2.5%).
That’s a relief — but it still leaves the LSE facing a lot of questions. What went wrong?
The Stock Exchange is creaking into life!
The FTSE 250 index (which contains mid-sized companies) just rose by 0.01% — a teensy change, which means something has started trading.
Trading is now expected to begin at 9.40am – 100 minutes late.
Reuters points out that today’s outage is the longest since February 2011, when the market was shuttered until lunchtime.
BREAKING: The London Stock Exchange says an opening auction is underway now.
That’s a sign that the unexplained problem might be fixed, and that trading could begin soon.
And not before time — this is already the longest outage in eight years!
Today’s technical problems are the third to strike the UK this month alone.
Last Wednesday, thousands of passengers at British Airways were stranded after its systems collapsed. Two days later, major power cuts struck the country after the National Grid’s network failed.
There’s no suggestion that the three are linked (the power blackout is being blamed on a technical fault at the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Hornsea One).
But still, this hat-trick of problems doesn’t reflect well on Britain’s infrastructure.
Neil Wilson, analyst at Markets.com, agrees that the outage is frustrating:
Still waiting…the FTSE cash equity market has failed to open and remains closed for the time being. The FTSE 350 is closed but AIM trading is still ok.
These things happen – the last delayed start to trading was only a year ago. Technical glitches are inevitable, frustrating as it is for everyone.
Wilson also points out that the Footsie SHOULD be rallying, having slumped to a six-month low of 7067 points last night.
FTSE futures are trading – and our fair value estimate suggests the cash market will open up strongly around 7115.
Frustration is mounting in the City.
London’s stock market has now been frozen for an hour — leaving traders unable to buy and sell shares in the 350 biggest companies listed on the FTSE.
And they’ve still not said what’s gone wrong, or when the problem will be fixed.
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