Overnight futures trade halted after power failure

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Overnight futures trade halted after power failure

The overnight futures Kospi 200 trading, which is linked to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, was forced to shut down a couple of hours before yesterday’s closing hour due to mechanical failures, the Korea Exchange (KRX) said yesterday.

Overnight futures transactions of the Kospi 200 market usually open at 6 p.m. and close at 5 a.m. But the market closed at 3 a.m. yesterday as a power supply unit in the Korea Exchange’s computerized system broke down.

The Kospi 200 index is a basket of 200 blue chip shares listed on Korea’s main Kospi bourse.

“A power supply shut-off caused by the broken power supply unit of the computerized system has completely downed some of system’s operations and we had to close the Kospi 200 market early,” Kang Hong-ki, an official at the KRX said at a press briefing. “We managed to restore servers at 3:50 a.m. and fully restored data from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange at 4:46 a.m. We apologize for the incident and we’ll make sure it won’t be repeated by adding more staff in operating the overnight trading system.”

KRX, however, has not yet identified the exact cause of the breakdown.

The unit was installed in 2010. This was the first time a power supply unit at the bourse operator failed.

KRX officials said they suspect the damage occurred due to rising heat in the computing room. Experts will find the exact cause.

Financial IT solution company Koscom, which oversees computing equipment for the KRX, said power supply units can get damaged because they handle high-voltage electricity.

Yesterday’s early closedown drastically cut the number of futures contracts. Usually, 18,000 contracts are made every day, but only 11,000 contracts were signed yesterday, according to the KRX.

The KRX said compensation for losses caused by the technical failure will be provided according to its policy.

Yesterday’s incident was the second problem in two days.

On Monday morning, stock indexes that the KRX transferred to the home-trading systems of local brokerage firms in real time were 10 minutes behind real-time indexes for an hour from 9:20 a.m., causing confusion.

“I’m concerned that the incident was caused by loose discipline of KRX employees,” said an employee at a local brokerage firm.

The KRX CEO seat remains vacant since Kim Bong-soo resigned on June 13.

BY KIM MI-JU [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]
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