Xetra crash casts shadow over plan for iX trading system

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The Independent Online

Frankfurt's efforts to convince doubting UK stockbrokers of the superiority of its Xetra trading platform suffered an embarrassing setback yesterday after the system crashed for two hours, leaving traders unable to deal electronically for much of the afternoon.

Frankfurt's efforts to convince doubting UK stockbrokers of the superiority of its Xetra trading platform suffered an embarrassing setback yesterday after the system crashed for two hours, leaving traders unable to deal electronically for much of the afternoon.

The failure had uncomfortable echoes of the systemscrash that put the London Stock Exchange out of action for most of 5 April, the last day of the tax year and traditionally one of the busiest trading days of the calendar. That crash made it difficult for the LSE to resist pressure from the Germans to agree to ditch its Sets trading system in favour of Xetra.

This time the failure came a day after the London and Frankfurt exchanges published details of the merger, which will see Xetra become the trading platform across iX. "There is obviously a malevolent deity at work which is behind all this," quipped one dealer yesterday.

A spokesman for the Deutsche Börse blamed the outtage on a problem with the underlying operating software, rather than the platform itself. "It is only the second glitch since the system was launched in November 1997," he said.

The system came back up at 5.45pm, with prices returning to normal at 6.30pm. The German bourse closed as usual at 8pm.

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