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NYSE electronic trading system debut seen smooth

NYSE electronic trading system debut seen smooth

The New York Stock Exchange's launch of expanded electronic trading got off to a generally smooth start Friday, traders and exchange officials said.
The Big Board, a unit of NYSE Group Inc., is ramping up its "hybrid market" system by removing automated-trading curbs on two stocks _ American Express Co. and Equity Office Properties Trust.
The system, which will be gradually expanded, is part of the 214-year-old exchange's plan to fight back against faster electronic rivals.
NYSE officials said the system was performing well. "Everything seems to be working," said NYSE Chief Executive John Thain, standing near the American Express trading post in the last hour of trading.
While it is still early, the hybrid system got good initial reviews from some traders.
Jamie Selway, an executive at White Cap Trading in New York, said most of the trades in the two stocks were being automatically executed _ earlier Friday, he said about 97.6 percent of the trades in American Express and about 96 percent of the trades in Equity Office were being executed electronically.
"Seems like the exchange kind of delivered here," Selway said.
The new system is expected to make the NYSE faster. Louis Pastina, senior vice president of market development at the NYSE, said the exchange's average "response time" in the two stocks was around 0.3 second Friday, down from an average of 9 seconds previously.
It remains to be seen what effect the system will have on the human traders on the floor. Alfred Hayward, an official at LaBranche & Co., the NYSE "specialist" floor-trading firm that handles American Express, said the human presence would probably shrink. But he said specialists would continue to add value.
"We have tremendous amounts of capital," he said Friday as the trading session neared its end. "Specialists are liquidity providers. We've been providing liquidity all day long."
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Gaston F. Ceron is a correspondent of Dow Jones Newswires


Updated : 2021-04-13 04:23 GMT+08:00