KUALA LUMPUR: Equities trading on Bursa Malaysia have been halted "for at least the morning session today" due to "a multi-hardware failure" in its core trading system, its spokesperson said.
All equity trades executed prior to trading halt this morning will be cancelled by the stock exchange, according to a statement posted on the stock exchange.
The "surprise" equities trading halt, which is to last for at least an entire session, followed a sell-off on Bursa Malaysia yesterday where the headline Kuala Lumpur Composite Index (KLCI) plunged as much as 25.74 points or 2.2% to 1,149.09 points intra-day.
Old-timers say the trading halt is almost unheard of in recent years.
"From what I remember, halts on technical glitches only last for an hour or two, not an entire session," a dealer said.
The KLCI closed at 1,153.7 points yesterday, down 21.13 points or 1.8%, its lowest since early March last year.
There is rising tension among investors due to escalating tension on the domestic political scene. Former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is reportedly kicking off a nationwide rally in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, this Sunday to clear his name from fresh sodomy charges.
He is having a press conference this morning at 11am at the Parti Keadilan Rakyat headquarters in PJ.
Bursa Malaysia managed to "trade" for only about 15 minutes this morning. The KLCI was down 0.37 point or 0.03% to 1,153.33 points at 9.13am, according to data on Bloomberg terminal.
"We will keep you updated on the progress and when trading can resume," a statement on the Bursa website read. In its statement to media, the stock exchange said it is "investigating the problem and will notify the market of any updates".
"The derivatives market will continue to trade as normal, however, there will not be any underlying KLCI feed for the FKLI and OKLI trading," it said.
All market participants have been duly notified and will be "updated periodically of the progress", the media statement read.