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Bats Chi-X Europe Offers Kill Switch to Traders

Bats Chi-X Europe, the largest pan-European trading system, gave all customers access to a so-called kill switch to cancel transactions in the event of a market crash or software malfunction.

The product, previously available only to the biggest clients providing a brokerage service, allows traders to set parameters for orders and gives the option to cancel all open bids, the company said in an e-mailed statement today.

Regulators are under pressure to prevent computers and software breakdowns from harming markets after Knight Capital Group Inc. was forced to the brink of bankruptcy and initial public offerings by Facebook Inc. and Bats Global Markets Inc. were mishandled in the U.S. Automated switches that would turn off trading at securities firms when their volume surpassed preset maximums were among proposals the Securities and Exchange Commission heard in Washington in September.

This expands “our suite of the risk-management tools recently made available to Bats’ customers in the U.S. to all of our trading participants in Europe,” Mark Hemsley, chief executive officer of Bats Chi-X Europe, said in the statement. “The ability to manage effectively risk at multiple layers of the trading cycle has become increasingly essential, with pre-trade risk checks at the exchange level as well as the participant level.”

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