CANADA STOCKS-Tech glitch halts Toronto Stock Exchange

Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:26pm EST
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(Adds quotes, details; in U.S. dollars)

TORONTO Dec 17 (Reuters) - Trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange and the small-cap TSX Venture Exchange remained halted on Wednesday afternoon due to technical problems with the market's data feeds.

Exchange operator TMX Group X.TO said it was experiencing a service interruption on its exchange data feeds that provide information to investors to help guide trading decisions, but did not provide a reason for the outage or timetable for resolving the problem.

In New York, shares of EnCana Corp ECA.N, Canada's No. 1 oil and gas producer, were lower, as were Canadian financials, while gold major Barrick Gold Corp ABX.N was sharply higher.

The Toronto market was halted to "ensure market integrity," TMX Group said, noting there are no technical issues with the TSX Quantum trading engine.

"We will provide updates through the day," said Carolyn Quick, director of communications at TMX Group.

For now, the halt is moving trades to other venues, said Bruce Latimer, a trader at Dundee Securities.

"It's incredibly frustrating because we've got clients who have given us orders and we can't trade the stocks, and we're forced to send business or whatever names are interlisted down to the States, so we're taking money out of the Canadian market and trading on the U.S. market," Latimer said shortly after the opening bell.

And Canadian alternative trading systems, or ATSs, such as Alpha Trading Systems are open for business.   Continued...