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London stock exchange sees first trading halt in 4 years; blue chips spared

by Jessica Weisman-Pitts
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London stock exchange sees first trading halt in 4 years; blue chips spared

LONDON (Reuters) -The London Stock Exchange (LSE) was forced to halt trading in smaller stocks on Thursday after an incident disrupted activity, although blue chip shares suffered no interruptions.

London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) said FTSE 100, FTSE 250 and International Order Book securities – those shares listed in London by overseas companies – were operating normally.

Traders said that shares in CRH and Deliveroo were among those not trading on the London market after the incident, which was the first time trading on the LSE had been interrupted since 2019.

LSEG did not offer any details on the incident in its statement and said it had no further comment when contacted by Reuters.

The FTSE 100 closed down 1.2% on the day.

“(The incident) will catch the attention of investors, people will want to have a quick answer to what was going on in order to maintain confidence,” Fiona Cincotta, senior markets analyst at City Index, said.

“The quicker we can get some news on what caused the incident, the quicker the market will be able to move on,” she said. “We may see a little bit of volatility at the open tomorrow.”

In 2019, the London Stock Exchange suffered an almost two-hour outage that hit FTSE 100 and midcap stocks, which LSEG said was caused by a “technical software issue”.

Thursday’s incident happened on a busy day in the corporate earnings season. LSEG’s own shares, which are listed on the FTSE 100, traded regularly, and closed up 1.88% following the release of its results earlier in the day.

Thomson Reuters, which owns Reuters News, has been a shareholder in LSEG since 2021. LSEG also pays Reuters for news stories.

(Reporting by Akanksha Khushi in Bengaluru, Huw Jones, Harry Robertson, Alun John, Joice Alves and Amanda Cooper in London and Danilo Masoni in Milan; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Harry Robertson and Susan Fenton)