Trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange appeared to begin as normal on Friday, after the Japanese bourse was closed for the whole day on Thursday in its worst outage since the dawn of electronic trading.

After all orders placed on Thursday were declared invalid, the benchmark Topix began trading from its Wednesday close and in the first few minutes of the session rose as much as 0.8 per cent. The Nikkei 225, the preferred index of Japanese retail investors, gained a similar amount.

In a press conference on Thursday, the TSE said that the day’s outage was caused by a hardware issue in its underlying “Arrowhead” system, which was designed in partnership with Fujitsu. Despite predictions its shares would fall heavily on Friday, Fujitsu’s stock jumped by about 1.4 per cent shortly after the market opened before shedding those gains to trade 0.4 per cent lower.

“It looks like investors are giving the market the benefit of the doubt that yesterday’s outage was indeed a one-off event,” said Takeo Kamai, head of executions services in Tokyo at brokerage CLSA.

Traders at Japanese brokerages in Tokyo said they expected higher than usual volumes on Friday, given the previous day would traditionally have marked the start of the second half of Japan’s financial year and included the release of the central bank’s market-moving Tankan survey of business sentiment. 

Ahead of the bourse opening, the TSE in a statement repeated its “sincerest apologies” for Thursday’s outage, on which the exchange’s operator has been ordered to report on to Japan’s Financial Services Agency.

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The shutdown affected more than 3,000 stocks listed on markets run by TSE’s parent, Japan Exchange Group. The group is Asia’s largest operator by overall market capitalisation of listed companies and foreign investors account for about two-thirds of its average daily trading volumes and value.

The reputation of the TSE, which had worked to establish a “never close” image throughout natural disasters and other crises, has been one of the pillars of renewed attempts by Tokyo to tout itself as a global financial hub.

That push has included luring funds and other institutions that may be reconsidering their presence in Hong Kong due to tighter restrictions imposed by Beijing.

Via Financial Times