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  • The Tokyo Stock Exchange froze trading for an entire day on Thursday after experiencing its worst outage in history.
  • A "hardware failure" caused the system to collapse, TSE said. "The switchover from the failed device to the backup device did not work properly, and as a result, market information could not be distributed."
  • Even if the problem was solved, the exchange chose to halt trading for the entire day in order to avoid confusion for market participants.
  • The exchange is the third-largest in the world with a market capitalisation of nearly $6 trillion.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Tokyo Stock Exchange completely halted trading for the first time in its history after a hardware error caused a system collapse.

The shutdown, which coincided with a slew of critical economic data releases scheduled for Thursday, affected over 2,500 stocks on multiple exchanges run by the region's largest operator, Japan Exchange Group. Japan's major indexes include the Nikkei 225 and Topix

A "hardware failure" caused the system to collapse, the exchange said in a statement. "The switchover from the failed device to the backup device did not work properly, and as a result, market information could not be distributed."

The trading halt was announced just before markets were set to open at 9 a.m. in Japan. A later announcement made it clear that the exchange would be shut for the entire day.

TSE said it planned to replace the hardware and take measures to ensure normal trading from Friday. Even if the system was able to reboot during the day, the exchange said it had planned to halt trading the entire day to avoid confusion for market participants and investors. 

Tokyo Stock Exchange, with a market capitalisation of about $6 trillion, is the world's third-largest by size of listed companies after the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq

The trading halt closed one of the few major markets that were open in the region as other exchanges in Hong Kong, Shanghai, South Korea, and Taipei were all closed for holiday.

The exchange experienced a full-day closure for the first time since it upgraded to fully electronic trading in 1999.

An entire morning session was once suspended in 2005 due to a similar system glitch.

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