Outage at European stock exchange stops trading

Trading on the Euronext.Liffe futures and options exchange was halted for more than four hours on Monday after an outage hit part of its Connect trading platform.

Liffe, the London-based derivatives arm of the Euronext European stock exchange, moved to delay the 7am opening of trading after problems emerged with the tools used to monitor and control the markets.

But attempts to prevent the markets opening automatically failed, with some trading taking place on the Euribor Futures and Option and CAC 40 Index Futures Contracts before a shutdown could be implemented.

The exchange confirmed that the early morning deals have now been invalidated, and the LCH.Clearnet clearing house has been notified.

Trading was restarted from 11.15am, after a data consistency check, with all contracts open by 11.30am, the exchange said.

Liffe said: “The root cause of the issue was a standing data problem within the tools, which was resolved by recovering the correct data and reinitializing the tools. Further steps will be taken by Euronext.liffe in conjunction with its technology supplier to prevent any recurrence.”

Liffe is in the process of replacing its 1,500 Sun Solaris servers with Hewlett-Packard servers running on Linux and Intel processors. A key part of the switch, which is aimed at providing greater scalability, involves swapping the gateway servers used by customers to link to the Connect platform.

Earlier this year, the exchange won its legal battle with former employee marketing employee Pavel Pinkava over intellectual property rights to electronic trading methods for a series of financial instruments.

Pinkava was granted leave to appeal a High Court ruling that the electronic trading methods he devised were not made in the course of his “normal duties”, but in the course of “specially assigned duties” relating to the development of an exchange-tradable credit derivative. The Appeal Court later rejected Pinkava’s claim that he owned rights to the technology.

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