Foreign Exchange Trading on Moscow Exchange Halts for 74 Minutes

Trading on the venue was interrupted between 11:26 and 12:40 Moscow time due to a malfunction in the operation of

(Photo: Bloomberg)
(Photo: Bloomberg)

This morning, trading on the foreign exchange and precious metals market on the Moscow Exchange was interrupted for over an hour due to technical problems. Traders lost access to the market around 11:26 local time. After over an hour, around 12:40 in Moscow, the market resumed normal operation.

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According to an announcement made by the Moscow Exchange the cause of the issue was a technical malfunction. The company detailed that the operation of gateways used to access the market’s trading system was at the root of the issue.

A specific transaction that balanced risk between the Exchange’s Derivatives and FX markets was executed with an error, which could have led to arbitrage opportunities. Trading on the Moscow Exchange derivatives market has not been affected.

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This is the first major outage for the foreign exchange market of MOEX. Earlier this year, participants of the exchange experienced an outage on the derivatives market, with similar issues occuring on MOEX throughout 2014.

The event prompted the exchange to disable the Risk Balancing Service which operates across the derivatives and the FX markets, permitting exchange participants to reduce margin requirements for offsetting derivatives and FX positions through netting of foreign exchange risk.

According to the announcement made by the Moscow Exchange, the service will remain turned off until the root cause of the incident is fully investigated.

The trading interruption affected the Russian ruble market in the immediate aftermath of the disruption as liquidity temporarily vanished from the market prompting the USD/RUB pair to gap lower 2% as bids disappeared from the market, but the effect was only temporary with prices stabilizing around 61.60 for most of the session.

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