Stock Markets in Canada Shut Abruptly By Technical Problem

The stock market in Canada is the sixth largest in the world and on Friday shut down abruptly after an outage kept market participants from the main exchanges. However, officials at the exchange operator said the exchange will resume trading Monday after the internal technical problems were resolved.

TMX Group, which is the operator of the main Toronto Stock Exchange as well as smaller platforms designed for trading across Canada, said through several Tweets that every user was impacted equally and not able to connect with our exchanges, and therefore it had decided to shutter the market for the rest of Friday.

The exchange operators added that it identified what the issue was and was working to have it fixed and that trading would start against at its regular hour Monday.

The outage did not take place due to being hacked, said a spokesperson from the exchange.

Shutdowns at exchanges are very rare occurrences since exchanges are usually set up with backup systems that rapidly open and go online when a technical failure occurs in the normal exchange.

The last outage at the TSX occurred close to one decade ago, when a fault that was linked to data feeds shuttered trading for an entire session during 2008, including trading on the Venture Exchange which is the small-cap TSX.

The TMX, which is vying to host the listing overseas for the Saudi Arabia’s Aramco IPO and is exploring partnerships with other bourses across the globe, did not comment on what the technical issues were.

The TMX had been contacted by the Ontario Securities Commission that said it continues monitoring the situation and watching it closely.

One university professor who is a financial tech expert said it is remarkable that outages are rare because the systems are so large and complicated.

Outages can be an inconvenience to investors and are also proven to be expensive for the exchanges.

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission last month leveled a fine against the New York Stock Exchange as well as two of its affiliates of $14 million for several regulatory failures that were related to market events that they called disruptive.

The shares listed in the U.S. of several firms based in Canada continued trading even after their securities listed in Toronto had been idled by Friday’s outage.

For example, Blackberry Ltd shares on the NYSE were trading hours after its share that were TSX listed shut down trading at 1:39 pm EDT.

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