Faulty technology triggered CME trading outage

The worst-ever trading outage on the world’s most important agricultural markets was triggered when sophisticated technology tripped over a trading halt in a single market, the executive chairman of exchange operator CME Group Inc told Reuters.

The April 8 outage stopped electronic trading in 31 agricultural markets that influence global prices for food staples such as wheat, corn and pork, and sent a flood of traders into CME’s normally deserted open-outcry futures pits to execute transactions.

The electronic trading platform handles around 95 percent of the volumes in grain futures on a typical day, and market participants have been in the dark about the cause of the failure, with CME only saying a “technical issue” was to blame.

The unusual outage came from a technical fault that involved “implied technology” systems, which can facilitate the execution of spread trades, CME Executive Chairman Terrence Duffy said in an interview this week.


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