The Australian Securities and Investments Commission said the outage was of “significant concern” and “had a significant impact on the market, including market participants and investors”.
Stockbrokers and traders were less confident that gains lost due to Monday’s market closure would simply be made up on Tuesday.
Chris Nicolay, head of institutional equities at Wilsons Advisory and Stockbroking, said it was a “catastrophic failure”.
As well as being unable to execute orders on behalf of clients, his firm also received an income hit, unable to charge brokerage on trades.
“Basically buy-side and sell-side effectively shut for the day,” Mr Nicolay said. “It is a days worth of revenue loss, which is not good. It’s very frustrating.”
John Winters, chief executive of trading platform Superhero, said the incident put the ASX’s competence as the market operator under a cloud.
Sources said ASX executives were “confident” the issue could be resolved by the beginning of Tuesday’s trade, while others indicated “hopeful” was a more accurate sentiment heading into what looked likely to be a long night of IT tinkering.
Among those blocked from accessing the ASX’s services on Monday were two companies due to list on the exchange after months of preparation and the successful completion of initial public offerings (IPOs).
Blake Cannavo, managing director of Native Mineral Resources (NMR), remained bullish on the outlook for his slated listing, notwithstanding a palpable note of disappointment at the delay.
“I would have liked to be up and trading as NMR is extremely positive and will continue to be [a] positive investment,” Mr Cannavo told The Australian Financial Review. “[It’s] great to see ASX has now rectified the software glitch and both NMR investors and ASX investors are ready to start trading tomorrow.”
Shares in retailer Universal Store were issued at $3.80 and due to start trading at midday before the outage kyboshed that plan.
Universal Store chief executive Alice Barbery was also keen to put a positive spin on the setback.
“I’m not going to lose my mind over one day,” Ms Barbery said.
“It’s 2020 people have had bushfires and lost houses and lost lives with coronavirus. I can hardly hold my breath and turn blue because of this. It will bounce back tomorrow and life will go on.”
Many businesses are dependant on the ASX functioning and some questioned the market operator’s competence.
“The ASX is known as one of the most stable exchanges in the world but that is called into question when events such as today occur,” Mr Winters said.
“We have seen our US peers suffer outages during trading hours, which causes concern on the stability of their systems. When the actual exchange suffers an outage, this reflects negatively on the sector as a whole.”
The outage comes just one month after the ASX’s much-anticipated new website failed shortly after launch, blocking access to company announcements and market data and reigniting criticism of the ASX’s monopoly power.
Vic Jokovic, chief executive of securities and derivatives exchange Chi-X, said his rival’s technical issues highlight the importance of competition between market operators and infrastructure providers.
“You always get a better deal when two or more providers compete for your business, that applies as much for an exchange as it does for a supermarket, airline or telco,” he said.