Toronto Stock Exchange computer system said struggling to cope with high volume of trading following second breakdown in two days : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

TSE computer system struggling to cope with high volume of trading


TORONTO (CP) - The computers handle trading at the Toronto Stock Exchange are struggling to keep up the huge volume of activity on Canada's largest stock market.

TSE officials shut down all trading at 3:58 p.m. Monday, two minutes early, after noticing some brokerage houses could not buy or sell shares because of a technical problem. On Friday, a different problem affected the stock market at the beginning of the session. The TSE said the problems on Friday delayed trade confirmations for the first half hour of trading.

The TSE's CATS trading system computer has been processing trades since 1977.

"The TSE's system is on a very fragile superstructure. We all know that and it appears it just can't handle the volume," said John Ing, president of Maison Placements Canada.

"It's not only the close, it is the openings too, and we are seeing delays on the tapes," Ing said.

"We've noticed for the last little while that the system is busting at the seams," Ing said. "It just takes longer to get reports and things like that."

Steve Key, manager of information services at the TSE, said Monday's problem was first noticed at 3:45 p.m.

"When we realised it was impacting many of our member firms, we made a decision to close the market," Key said, adding he couldn't say exactly how many member brokerages were affected.

Friday's problem was unrelated to Monday's glitch, whcih was in the TSE's order management system, an automatic routing system that helps to fill and confirm orders.

Fred Ketchen, managing director of equity trading for Scotia Capital Markets, said the problem causes "a huge paper-flow problem, we've got orders everywhere."

But he had some sympathy for the exchange.

"Orders have quadrupled in the last number of weeks and that causes confusion," Ketchen said, adding even the Nasdaq exchange was having technical problems.

The Nasdaq composite index, the key indicator for technology stocks, was frozen for 2= hours Friday due to a problem with a computer cable connected to a mainframe computer at the technical centre. (National Post-Globe and Mail)

-- Carl Jenkins (, February 22, 2000


It's RSP time; orders increase at this time every year. What's going on?

-- Rachel Gibson (, February 22, 2000.

(Source: Financial Post/National Post; the following is as close as I could come to a link)


"Wednesday, February 23, 2000

Everything will be fine in six months: TSE Information bottleneck: CATS trading system terminals blamed for woes

Garry Marr and Kim Hanson Financial Post

Toronto Stock Exchange officia said yesterday that changes to be made over the next six months should eliminate some of the problems that have been hampering trading."


The problem is the information coming into the system is getting bottlenecked because the system has been forced to process information from both aging CATS terminals and the order-management system that broke down Monday.

By Sept. 1, all member firms will have to have had their CATS trading system computer terminals replaced, which Mr. Kee said has been a major problem for the TSE. The CATS system has been in place since 1977."

-- Rachel Gibson (, February 23, 2000.

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