(Bloomberg) —

The Tokyo Stock Exchange halted trading for the entire day on Thursday on hardware breakdown, causing the worst breakdown for the world’s third-largest bourse.

Japan Exchange Group Inc., the operator of the TSE, gave no time frame for when trading would resume, and said it would announce plans for tomorrow’s session later. The stoppage means buying and selling in thousands of shares will be frozen on the first day of the new quarter. Previous outages had only affected part of the trading day.

The issue dampens investor sentiment following a positive U.S. stock market performance overnight and closures in other major markets in the region, including China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan. The shutdown could also have implications on investor confidence in the Japanese markets system.



a clock tower in front of a building: Final Trading Day Of The Year At The Tokyo Stock Exchange


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Final Trading Day Of The Year At The Tokyo Stock Exchange

The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) building in Tokyo.

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Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

“This is very problematic — when things like this happen, investor confidence in the Japanese market get impacted,” said Ryuta Otsuka, a strategist at Toyo Securities Co. “It could later weigh on Japanese stocks.”

There were no indications that the outage was related to hacking, the exchange said. The halt prompted a reaction from Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato, the top government spokesman, who said it was “extremely regrettable” that trading opportunities have been restricted.

Confidence Blow

Global markets are on a heightened state of alertness to any glitches, after a cyber attack in New Zealand that spurred trading halts over four days in August.

Other markets in the country, including exchanges in Sapporo, Nagoya, and Fukuoka, have also suspended trading. Derivatives, including futures, trade on the Osaka Exchange, which is not impacted by the system issue. Futures on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average were