The Tokyo Stock Exchange plans to resume normal operations Friday after it halted trading for the entire day Thursday owing to what it said was a malfunction in its computer systems — the worst such outage ever.
There was no indication that the outage at the world’s third-largest exchange resulted from hacking or other cybersecurity breaches.
“We are extremely sorry for the troubles we have caused,” Koichiro Miyahara, president and CEO of the exchange, told reporters late Thursday.
The exchange issued a statement later saying it would open as usual Friday. It said it foresaw no problems with resuming trading.
Miyahara and other exchange officials said a computer hardware device they called “Machine 1” failed, and the backup, “Machine 2,” didn’t kick in, so stock price information was not being relayed properly.
The officials characterized the problem as a memory malfunction.
They said that rebooting the system during a trading session would have caused confusion for investors and other market participants.
Perplexed passers-by studied quote-less electronic screens in Tokyo’s financial district, and newspapers’ evening editions carried listed companies’ names but blank prices.
Brokerages fielded a flood of calls from frustrated investors.
“There should be a Plan B,” Norihiro Fujito, chief investment strategist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, told broadcaster NHK.
The Tokyo exchange is the world’s third-largest bourse after the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, with a market capitalization of nearly $6 trillion.
Foreigners account for about 70% of all brokerage trading in the Tokyo exchange, both in terms of value and volume, so news of the outage left investors both in Japan and overseas wondering what happened.
The malfunction of basic hardware drew attention to vulnerabilities in the country’s digital systems. Newly appointed Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has made upgrading such infrastructure a priority, viewing it as
Trading in Tokyo’s stock markets, which are among the world’s biggest, was halted for the whole day Thursday after the system was hit by one of its worst ever glitches.
A technical problem involving the delivery of market information was flagged to the operator of the Tokyo Stock Exchange operator and business was stopped less than half an hour before the opening bell.
The decision not to open for the rest of the day was taken around noon, with Japan Exchange Group giving no further details on the cause.
“TSE has decided to halt all listed stocks for all of today. When trade will resume has not yet been decided,” it said in a statement, which added that a decision on whether to resume Friday will be announced later.
The glitch hit the country’s top Nikkei 225 and Topix indexes as well as exchanges in Nagoya, Sapporo and Fukuoka that operate through Tokyo’s system. The Osaka exchange was functioning normally, though, the operator said.
The trading halt closed one of the few major markets that was due to be open in Asia on Thursday, with bourses in Hong Kong, Shanghai, South Korea and Taipei all closed for holidays.
It is the first significant glitch to hit Tokyo since 2018, when a trading system problem left some securities firms unable to execute orders but that only had what was described as a limited effect on overall market activity for the day.
The last time all stock trading was suspended because of a system glitch was on November 1, 2005, when the entire morning session was suspended.
The news raised concerns of a possible cyber attack after the New Zealand Exchange was hit in August, forcing trading halts over several days, though officials said there was no indication so far of foul