Technical glitch halts trading on Frankfurt stock exchange for four hours

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Trading on the Frankfurt stock exchange was halted for more than four hours on Tuesday, one of its longest outages ever, due to a technical glitch on Deutsche Boerse's DB1Gn.DE Xetra and Eurex platforms, the exchange operator said.

Stock exchanges in Vienna, Budapest, Prague, and in Balkan countries, were also affected.

Trading in Frankfurt, one of Europe’s biggest stock exchanges which saw trading volumes jump to 300 billion euros ($329 billion) for March amid volatile swings in financial markets, was halted at 0725 GMT, 25 minutes after it opened.

More than 90% of trades on the German bourse are executed on the electronic Xetra trading system and the glitch effectively shut down the bulk of its derivatives and share trading. Floor trading was not affected.

The Eurex share trading platform restarted at 1145 GMT and the Xetra derivatives platform followed at 1150 GMT.

The outage was caused by a malfunction in the internal communication of the trading system, Deutsche Boerse said in a statement, adding that trading was operating smoothly again on Tuesday afternoon.

A Deutsche Boerse spokesman said the outage was not due to a hacker attack.

The stock exchanges in Zagreb, Ljubljana, Sofia and Malta were also affected by the outage as they use the Xetra T7 system, as do Vienna, Prague and Budapest.

Reporting by Hans Seidenstuecker in Frankfurt; Writing by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Susan Fenton