London Stock Exchange crashes to a halt

An embarrassing computer failure at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) left City traders unable to cash in on a worldwide stock market boom for much of today.

The US government nationalisiation of banking giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac triggered early morning gains for the main London FTSE 100 Index(footsie) – until links between traders and the exchange were severed from just before 9am.

The LSE managed to restart normal trading in London about 7 hours later but by then much of the gains had been already posted leaving many investors buying well above prices available earlier in the day. Then the Footsie eased back slightly following the morning’s 3.8% rise.
It is the longest market stoppage since April 2000.

The market’s resumption came well after the opening of Wall Street, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 2% as investors welcomed the removal of uncertainty following the mortgage intervention.

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