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Criticism of the stock exchange after hours of failure

EThere has never been such a long failure on the German stock exchange in the recent past. Almost nothing lasted for almost four and a half hours on Deutsche Börse’s two most important trading systems, Xetra and Eurex. From 9 a.m. to 9.25 a.m., the leading index Dax had just started to recover after the long Easter weekend. From then on, the “curve” on the large display board in the Frankfurt trading hall moved sideways for the time being, the most important German share index, the Dax, remained at the 10,675.93 points it had achieved so far.

Tim Kanning

When the trade started again, the Dax continued on its recovery course taken before the Easter holidays. In the late afternoon, the stock market barometer rose by around 2.3 percent.

“Technical disruption,” it said succinctly from the German stock exchange, and that one is working on the solution of the problem. Such faults are not that rare, but the problems are usually resolved after an hour at the latest. Trading on the stock exchanges in Vienna, Prague, Budapest, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Sofia and Malta is also affected, since these exchanges also use the Deutsche Börse trading system.

Lucky coincidence

The reactions of trading participants were mixed. At the request of the F.A.Z. Benjardin Gärtner, head of equity portfolio management at the fund company of the Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken, Union Investment: “The technical problems and the impairments are unpleasant,” he said. “Smooth trading is very important to us at all times. Today we can be happy that the great unrest on the stock exchanges of the past few weeks with the high volatility in equities is behind us.

It sounded similarly for Eric Böss, who heads global trading at Allianz Global Investors and who also referred to the comparatively calm trading trend: “The markets that were still open, including the American futures, showed little movement and we were therefore not forced to deal with extremely thin liquidity trade. ”The orders from the morning were then simply processed in the afternoon. But Böss also pointed out that it could have been very different on many of the past trading days: “It was a happy coincidence that the default did not take place on a day with the current volatility.”

It was not until 1:20 p.m. that Deutsche Börse gave the all-clear and prepared the trading participants for the restart of the systems at 1:50 p.m. Here, too, the reasoning remained vague: the problem arose in the T7 trading system, which both Xetra and Eurex use. “An error in the internal communication of the trading system triggered the problem.” The Dax then started at 35 points above the level at which it got stuck. During the past trading days, around 1 million transactions had been carried out via Xetra, so it had only been around 240,000 by the afternoon due to the long interruption.

Damage difficult to prove

Does a shareholder simply have to accept such a trade interruption? After all, on days with high volatility, high losses can quickly arise if you cannot sell at the desired time. Shareholder protector Klaus Niedung from the German Association for the Protection of Securities generally sees a right to compensation if the stock exchange simply refers to a technical malfunction.

For small shareholders, however, it is hardly demonstrable how exactly the concrete damage looks and that it actually arose from the loss of trading. The effort would be too high due to the low sums in question. Large institutional investors would, however, sometimes complain if such trade interruptions occurred.

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