July 20, 2015 / 5:10 PM / 4 years ago

CME halts gold trading twice amid rout in early Asian hours

NEW YORK (Reuters) - CME Group Inc (CME.O) briefly halted trading in U.S. gold futures twice, 20 seconds each time, on Sunday evening as prices plunged 4 percent to their lowest since 2010 due to a market rout in early Asian trading hours, a spokesman said on Monday.

While it is rare for trading to be interrupted by the exchange’s circuit breakers, it is particularly unusual for it to happen twice in one session, reflecting the pace and size of the selling overnight, traders said.

CME stopped trading in the most-active August futures contract GCc2 at 9:29:03 p.m. EDT as part of a so-called “stop logic event”.

That prevents cascading stop orders that could exaggerate price movements in illiquid markets.

The second halt started 29 seconds later and was part of a “velocity logic”, which introduces a pause to matching of futures and options trades. During this pause, customers can submit, modify and cancel orders.

Some of the biggest price moves in gold futures in recent years have occurred during Asian hours, when liquidity is lower.

Reporting by Josephine Mason; Editing by Peter Galloway

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