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Trading Error Erases $3 Billion From Taiwan Oil Heavyweight

An attendant fills a customer's scooter with gasoline at a Formosa Petrochemical gas station in Taipei.

An attendant fills a customer's scooter with gasoline at a Formosa Petrochemical gas station in Taipei.

Photographer: Maurice Tsai/Bloomberg
Updated on

An avalanche of apparently mistaken orders at the close knocked Taiwan’s third-biggest stock down almost 10 percent in minutes, draining $3 billion from its market value.

Formosa Petrochemical Corp. lurched from around 116 Taiwan dollars to 106 in a cascade of orders that culminated in a 15.2 million-share closing auction -- a trade valued at more than $55 million. This stock had averaged about 2.9 million shares of volume for full-day sessions since September.