CME reopens online trading platform after technical glitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) - CME Group Inc’s online trading platform CME Direct reopened four hours after it was shut on Monday due to a technical issue, the latest glitch to hit the world’s largest futures market operator and roil commodity trading.

A member notice posted shortly before 1 p.m. EST said the connectivity issue with CME Direct was resolved and that the platform was now available.

That followed a notice to members sent at 8:57 a.m. EST that said the platform, which allows users to trade futures, options and Block markets as well as access an instant messaging platform, was unavailable until further notice.

It said all customer orders will be canceled, including “Good Till Canceled” and “Good Till Date” orders. An earlier message said connectivity issues were affecting some users’ ability to log in to the system.

The outage came as CME migrated many users of its EOS Trader platform over to CME Direct, and also coincided with an upgrade to CME Direct’s technology, sources familiar with the matter said.

A spokeswoman said that during the outage, traders were still able to use other front-end platforms including ClearPort and EOS Trader, or could trade by contacting the exchange’s global command center. Other trading platforms for CME products were operating without issues.

Still, a New York-based oil trader said the outage reduced liquidity in oil, the exchange’s biggest commodities contract by turnover.

Electronic trade data from CME Direct was not being posted as usual on display boards on the Chicago Board of Trade open-outcry trading floor, said PJ Quaid, an open-outcry corn options broker.

Data from CME Direct is “one of the many checkpoints you look at on boards when you’re trying to figure out what’s going on” in the markets, he said.

The outage is the latest headache for CME. In August 2014 it was forced to delay the start of electronic trading by four hours, and suffered a trading upset in its leading agricultural contracts that April.

Contracts traded on CME include the benchmarks for U.S. crude and agricultural markets such as wheat, corn and soybeans. U.S. gold and silver futures are also traded on the system.

Reporting by Luc Cohen; Additional reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago and Jessica Resnick-Ault in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Matthew Lewis