ASIC ‘concerned’ over ASX equity market outage

Outage occurred during the opening auction

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has raised “significant concern” after the nation’s stock market crashed amid a software issue. 

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) was hit by a major outage on 16 November during the opening auction, shutting down trade for most of the day. 

According to the ASX, a software issue related to the trading of multiple securities in a single order created "inaccurate market data", which led to share prices not being updated. 

Following the crash, ASIC said it was in regular contact with the ASX as its team scrambled to get the platform back online in time for its scheduled opening of 10am on 17 November. 

“ASIC will also monitor for any impacts resulting from the failure of ASX Trade to open for most of the day,” the body said in a statement. 

“ASIC views outages of this nature with significant concern. It has had a significant impact on the market, including market participants and investors. The ASX is one of the world’s most active and visible public markets and forms a critical part of Australia’s national economic infrastructure,” It added. 

“Well-functioning financial market infrastructure is critical to the integrity and reputation of the Australian equity market and the trust and confidence investors have in it. As the primary equities market in Australia, ASX performs a vital role.” 

Following the reopening of the market, ASIC said it will determine whether ASX followed the relevant regulatory requirements under the Corporations Act and met its obligations under its Australian Market Licence.