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ASX sheds more light on last week’s market tech failure
Source: The Australian
  • The Australian Securities Exchange has shed some more light on the nature of last week's market outage that left investors stranded for a full day of trade
  • The share market system crashed abruptly last Tuesday and left punters unable to trade until Tuesday morning
  • Today, the ASX said it pinpointed a specific issue within its Tailor Made Combinations feature of its main trading platform
  • This is the most complex part of the ASX Trade system, according to the company, which allows traders to place multi-leg bids and have them all filled at the same time
  • ASX Managing Director and CEO Dominic Stevens said the company tested the update for 12 months but still faced some issues at launch
  • Shares in ASX closed 0.28 per cent lower this afternoon at $77.24 each

The Australian Securities Exchange has shed some more light on the nature of last week's market outage that left investors stranded for a full day of trade.

Last Monday, the share market system abruptly crashed after being open for just 24 minutes and remained closed until market open on Tuesday.

The market operator said a weekend update of its ASX Trade system was responsible for the outage. Moreover, the ASX faced other issues with its Centre Point anonymous matching system that stopped Chi-X bids and offers from being used.

Centre Point acts as a dark order matching service within the ASX Trade system.

The tech crash and Centre Point issues have prompted an investigation into the ASX's compliance with its market licence obligations, its infrastructure, and its stewardship.

Today, the ASX once more apologised for the outage and pinpointed a specific issue within its core trading platform that was responsible for the tech failure.

"Tailor Made Combinations functionality, the most complex feature of the system, which was at the heart of the software issue that caused the market disruption, remains suspended until a detailed investigation is completed," ASX Managing Director and CEO Dominic Stevens said.

"We will continue to communicate with the market about the outage, to explain what happened, what was done to recover the system and what steps have been taken to prevent a recurrence of the issue that caused the outage," he continued.

The ASX's Tailor Made Combinations software essentially acts as a way for punters to place multi-leg bids and have them all filled at the same time.

Investors can craft a specific combination of order books within the central trading system that, when matched at the given net price, trades all the legs simultaneously without any execution risk.

The ASX said it had been testing its new system for 12 months and was confident the launch would be successful, but it encountered some issues nonetheless.

Still, the company said it has devoted a major portion of its resources to tech upgrading over the last three years, boosting its spending by 60 per cent and staff numbers by 31 per cent.

As such, the market operator said it has experienced its lowest-ever level of outages across its main systems since 2006 — across all platforms, the ASX has had 100 per cent uptime for the 2019 and 2020 financial years and 99.9 per cent uptime over the three financial years before that.

"The outage did not match ASX’s high operational standards or the standards expected of us. Nor did it match our record of being one of the most reliable and resilient exchanges globally," Dominic said.

Shares in ASX closed 0.28 per cent lower this afternoon at $77.24 each.


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