Markets

Toronto Stock Exchange closes early for the day after technical issue halted trading

Toronto Stock Exchange
Pawel Dwulit | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Toronto Stock Exchange effectively ended its Thursday session more than 40 minutes early after halting trade earlier in the afternoon due to a technical issue, according to TMX Group, owner of the exchange.

The TSX Composite Index, the exchange's benchmark, was down 1.9% before trading was halted around 2 p.m. ET as coronavirus fears caused global markets to plunge on above-average volume. It later confirmed via Twitter that its cessation would stay in effect for the rest of the day.

"The technical halt will remain in effect for the remainder of the day on TSX, TSX Venture and TSX Alpha," TMX Group wrote. "As a result, the TSX Market on Close Facility will not run today. We apologize for the inconvenience."

The trading volume on the Toronto Stock Exchange had already exceeded the 30-day average before trading was halted. FactSet data shows more than 232 million shares changed hands Thursday, topping a 30-day average of 231.1 million.

TMX Group did not respond to CNBC's request for comment.

"TMX continues to investigate the problem with order entry on TSX, TSXV and Alpha. We apologize for the inconvenience. Further updates will be provided," TMX tweeted at 2:46 p.m. ET.

"Clients are currently unable to enter, modify or cancel open orders on TSX, TSXV and Alpha," the group added in a subsequent tweet at 2:10 p.m. "TMX continues to investigate the problem with order entry. Prior to re-opening, we will provide sufficient time in a pre-open state for Participants to manage their orders."

The Montreal Exchange, a Canadian derivatives exchange, said at 2:18 p.m. ET that it would "halt trading on all Equity Derivative Instruments and place all instruments in a pre opening state."

— CNBC's Chris Hayes and Fred Imbert contributed reporting.

Subscribe to CNBC PRO for exclusive insights and analysis, and live business day programming from around the world.