London Stock Exchange website reports incorrect prices

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) website displayed incorrect prices for the important FTSE 100 index yesterday morning. It's not the first time they've had problems.

London Stock Exchange website reports incorrect data

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) website displayed incorrect prices for the important FTSE 100 index yesterday morning. The problems were less severe than previous London Stock Exchange failures, which actually interrupted trading.

According to Online Financial News:

The website reported inaccurate points movements for the FTSE 100 from the start of trading until the price ticker was removed from the website later in the morning... The LSE said the exchange's data feeds to professional traders...worked perfectly all day and technical glitch on the website had been fixed.

When an exchange reports incorrect stock data investors can be hurt, which damages market confidence in that exchange. As one trader said, "This is not the kind of mistake we needed today."

Since the London Stock Exchange didn't release details, we can only speculate as to cause. However, it's clear the LSE has had a variety of serious technical issues during the last year.

Recently, glitches forced New York's NASDAQ exchange to cancel certain Google trades. NASDAQ spokesperson, James Lee, told me in an email:

The canceled trades were triggered by erroneous orders that were routed to NASDAQ from another market center. As a result, the following action was taken:

Pursuant to Rule 11890(b) NASDAQ, on its own motion, has determined to cancel all trades in security Google Inc Cl - A "GOOG" at or above $425.29 and at or below $400.52 that were executed in NASDAQ between 15:57:00 and 16:02:00 ET. In addition, NASDAQ will be adjusting the NASDAQ Official Closing Cross (NOCP) and all trades executed in the cross to $400.52. This decision cannot be appealed. MarketWatch has coordinated this decision to break trades with other UTP Exchanges. NASDAQ will be canceling trades on the participant’s behalf.

James ignored repeated requests for more technical details on the cause of this routing error. On a positive note, however, NASDAQ has implemented an excellent system status dashboard.

Yesterday, I described two kinds of failures: management process tribulations and technical glitches. This breakdown clearly falls into the latter category.

[Image via iStockphoto.]

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