Borsa Italiana hit by technical glitch

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Technical problems led to the suspension of trading on the Borsa Italiana for most of yesterday, disrupting activity a day after the exchange saw higher than usual activity owing to the escalating turmoil in Libya.

The glitch halted business on the bourse, a unit of the London Stock Exchange Group, until 3.30pm local time, frustrating traders, who endured a sell-off in stocks with links to the troubled North African nation earlier in the week.

On Monday, volumes rose to nearly €4bn (£3.4bn), up almost 37 per cent on the five-day average, as market participants struggled to keep up with developments in the former Italian colony.

"This is frustrating because Italian stocks with a Libyan exposure would have been heavily traded... given recent events in that country," one trader said before activity was resumed on the Milan-based exchange.