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Frustrations mount over London Stock Exchange data interface

Leo King | Feb. 18, 2011
London Stock Exchange traders are becoming increasingly frustrated at continued data feed problems affecting several large data providers linked to the exchange.

FRAMINGHAM 18 FEBRUARY 2011 - London Stock Exchange traders are becoming increasingly frustrated at continued data feed problems affecting several large data providers linked to the exchange.

Thomson Reuters and Interactive Data, two of the largest companies providing real time market prices using software interfacing with the LSE, have been displaying incorrect or blank pricing data, according to Computerworld UK readers.

Even the LSE's own data service, Proquote, initially experienced problems. Elsewhere Netbuilder, a software vendor linking to the exchange, also experienced problems and demonstrated incorrect prices.

The news comes three days after the LSE launched a new Novell SUSE Linux-based matching engine on the main cash exchange, seen as one of the most important events in its technology history since electronic messaging took over from floor traders in 1986.

Publicly, the LSE and the data vendors say they are working together as engineers scramble to fix the price data problems, even though some statements to clients suggest elements of blame.

But behind the scenes, sources close to the several of the parties, including the exchange, told Computerworld UK they were immensely frustrated at the reputational impact of the problems.

The LSE is taking the position that its data feeds are working correctly. Industry sources said the exchange had placed a great deal of emphasis on the launch, which was largely providing successful high-speed trading, and that it had allocated sufficient time - 15 months - for the vendors to be fully prepared for the new system.

Sources close to data providers, conversely, said the problem was a mixture of both their infrastructure, and the LSE's network feeds and technical instructions.

As brokers said they were finding it difficult to trade with inaccurate prices, and as vendors sent out messages to clients concerning the system, the LSE issued a statement to the markets.

The LSE statement appeared to place some blame with the vendors. "Unfortunately a couple of market data vendors have experienced some specific issues aligning to the new Millennium Exchange platform and we are actively working with them to help resolve their issues," it said.

"All other trading customers and vendors are successfully trading on the new platform, benefiting from Millennium Exchange's superior functionality and speed." Since the launch, the LSE had been successfully trading over 75 million client orders with an average latency of 125 microseconds, it said.

Thomson Reuters, one of the largest market providers, said it was "working closely" with the LSE to resolve issues "following the rollout of their Millennium network".

 

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