Australian Futures Trading Resumes After Technical Fault

Australian equity and bond futures trading on the country’s main exchange was halted for about two hours after a technical issue prevented the updating of prices for some users.

The exchange suspended the buying and selling of all products on its ASX Trade 24 derivatives market earlier today while it investigated the issue. Trading of the December futures contract on the S&P/ASX 200 Index, the nation’s benchmark equity measure, was suspended from 12:41 p.m. in Sydney until 2:34 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

This is the second time a technical fault has affected trading this month at ASX Ltd., Asia’s third-largest exchange operator. Pricing on the S&P/ASX 200 Index was unavailable on Oct. 3 for about 30 minutes after a problem with one of the firm’s feeds.

“Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life when dealing with technology,” said Evan Lucas, a Melbourne-based market strategist at IG Ltd., which provides trading services on currencies, equities and commodities. “It’s not brilliant.”

Shares in Australia fell today, joining a global rout, amid concern that pledges to keep record-low interest rates in the U.S. won’t be enough to offset a global economic slowdown. The S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.7 percent to 5,153.90 as of 2:55 p.m. in Sydney, extending to 8.9 percent its slide since Sept. 2, when it reached a six-year high.

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