Colombia Traders Sidelined by Breakdown as Oil Shares Drop

Trading on Colombia’s stock exchange started nearly three hours late today because of technical problems, leaving investors unable to react to a plunge in oil company shares that trade in the U.S. and Canada.

The start of stock and derivative trading, which normally starts at 9.30 a.m., was held up until after midday due to a fault with the exchange’s X-Stream trading platform. The market was shut yesterday due to a public holiday.

The delay left locals initially unable to match yesterday’s move in stocks that are also traded on other bourses, where shares reacted to the fall in oil prices. Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp.’s shares dropped 19 percent in Bogota, when the market opened, while state-controlled producer Ecopetrol SA fell 5.8 percent.

Pacific Rubiales shares dropped 20 percent in Canada yesterday and are recovering 2 percent today, while state-controlled producer Ecopetrol SA’s New York traded shares fell 7.7 percent yesterday and are up 0.5 percent today.

“It’s normal for there to be a period of adjustment with the new system, but we weren’t expecting to have the market suspended because of this,” Juan Pablo Vieira, a Medellin-based trader at brokerage Serfinco SA, said in an e-mailed reply to questions.

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