The Tokyo Stock Exchange shut down for the day on Thursday due to a technical glitch that halted equities trading throughout the world’s third- largest economy.
The breakdown is the worst ever for one of the globe’s biggest platforms for buying and trading stocks. Although the exchange has experienced outages in the past, none had stopped trading for a whole day. Over 3,700 companies are listed in Tokyo.
The exchange’s operator, Japan Exchange Group, said it was taking steps to allow trading to resume on Friday. However, the outage could shake investors’ faith in the reliability of the Japanese stock market, especially if problems appear again or if investors are found to have lost significant amounts of money.
A spokesman for the exchange’s operator, Japan Exchange Group Inc. said it didn’t see signs of hacking. In August, a distributed denial-of-service attack disrupted trading on New Zealand’s stock exchange, raising concerns about the vulnerabilities of global stock markets to threats from hackers.
The Tokyo problem, which involved the part of the system that distributes price information, was discovered at about 7 a.m. local time, two hours before the stock market normally opens.
In a statement, the company blamed an unspecified equipment failure and said a backup system had failed to kick in. It offered its “deepest apologies” to investors and others affected by the shutdown.
At a regularly scheduled news conference on Thursday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, called the breakdown “very regrettable” and said that the exchange was taking “actions to identify the cause of the problem and restore it.”
As of December 2019, the Japan Exchange Group ran the world’s third-largest equity market, behind the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, with nearly $6.2 trillion worth of stocks, according to the World Federation of Exchanges. It had more listed companies than any other exchange, the group said.