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London Stock Exchange opens an hour and 40 minutes late

Emma Lunn
Written By:
Emma Lunn

London traders were unable to buy and sell shares in Britain’s top companies this morning, after an unexplained glitch hit the City.

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) opened at 9.40am this morning, instead of its usual time of 8am, due to a technical issue.

System status updates on the LSE website warned of a delay due to a “potential trading services issue” before the stock market was due to open.

At 07.58 it warned that “London Stock Exchange Partition 1 and Partition 2” – the FTSE 100 and 250 securities – opening would be delayed, but Partition 3 was operating as normal.

The delay meant buyers and sellers of UK company shares on indices such as the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 were unable to trade British-listed companies, but shares in smaller companies on the FTSE 350 and AIM market continued to trade as normal.

Confirmed later by the Bitcoin Loophole editors, stocks that were delayed were in an opening auction call at 09:20 with the stock market fully opening and regular trading commencing at 09.40.

The last time the LSE failed to open on time was in June 2018, when it opened an hour late owing to a technical issue. In that incident the London Stock Exchange Group identified the issue and decided to delay the market open to “preserve the integrity of the market”.

The outage comes at a particularly volatile time in the markets, with Brexit looming, the US/China trade dispute and concern about a recession causing price swings.