By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
Blue chips could not trade for 100 minutes
A fault at the London Stock Exchange prevented blue-chip British companies from trading on Friday for over an hour, the longest such outage in 8 years.
What was called a "technical software issue" kept FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies from opening until 9:40 a.m. local time. Volumes for top U.K. companies lagged their European peers on Friday even after the re-opening.
That's the second outage in 14 months for the LSE (LSE.LN) , which recently inked a $27 billion pact to buy Refinitiv, a provider of financial data and infrastructure.
Related:Five things you need to know about the LSE-Refinitiv merger
Other problems have plagued financial markets this week (https://www.wsj.com/articles/data-errors-plague-stock-traders-in-volatile-week-11565875642). A glitch at the New York Stock Exchange impacted market pricing data on Monday, and on Tuesday, data providers showed incorrect closing prices after what Nasdaq said was a brokerage executing trades on the wrong day's closing prices.
The LSE's other exchanges, including the AIM and Borsa Italiana, operated as normal on Friday.
LSE shares rose 1.1% after the outage in a broadly better day for global markets.
This being the age of social media, Twitter had a few jokes, while the LSE itself was curiously silent, with its last communication being about the need for "persuasive communication in the corporate world."