The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has begun a joint investigation with Andersen Consulting into the software problem that caused a seven hour trading halt this week.
Andersen built and runs the trading system, which failed on Wednesday, leaving traders frustrated and unable to work on the last day of the financial year.
The Exchange plans to send its member firms a letter setting out what went wrong and reassuring firms that there will be no repetition of the problem.
The problem centred around two key software programs that process information for the vital London Market Information Link, which receives, processes and broadcasts price information. Because the second program started too early, it used price data from Tuesday evening, mixed in with new data. This corrupted share price information but had no effect on other systems.
In a statement the Exchange said: "The nature of the problem was such that the trading and information systems were no longer synchronised and the data being disseminated was not reliable. In order to investigate the situation and to prevent incorrect price information from being transmitted to the market, it was necessary to stop and subsequently re-start our systems."
A move to backup systems was not possible because the problem lay with realtime data and would not be fixed by the switch.
LSE chiefs have yet to give a full explanation of what caused their computers to crash.
Mike Lucas, technology manager at CompuWare, said problems with the price information were a symptom of a deeper software problem revolving around how database, operating systems and applications interact.
"Beneath the surface, the multiple applications in a complex system have a life of their own and are difficult to manage," said Lucas. He said that problems could have been identified with application management software long before they became critical.
Lucas added that without some kind of "black box" system to record what happened at the Exchange, getting to the bottom of the problem may prove difficult.
Regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), said that the failure is a serious matter that requires a prompt and thorough response.
The FSA will work with the LSE, which it supervises as a recognised investment exchange, to ensure that the lessons from the failure to open are learned rapidly and made public, and that any necessary changes to its systems and backup arrangements are made immediately.
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