Heavy selling leads to shortened session at Tokyo stock exchange

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Heavy selling in internet firm livedoor sparked a sharp selloff in Japanese stocks Wednesday. The exchange had to shorten the trading session as the number of transactions threatened to exceed the system capacity. The Tokyo stock exchange has a capacity to handle 4.5 million trades per day.

Wednesday's trading problems have added to recent woes with the trading system at the exchange. A glitch halted trading for almost a full day late last year. Tokyo stock exchange plans to offer its own shares for listing.

Prosecutors raided the Tokyo offices of livedoor on Monday, following allegations the company had violated Japanese securities laws. livedoor has denied that the company broke market rules by giving misleading information to shareholders. Shares in the company dived on Tuesday, dragging the overall index lower. One of Japan's best known internet companies, livedoor has grown rapidly through a series of takeovers and stock splits before Tuesday's share price fall.