Stocks on the London Exchange dive in "suspicious circumstances"

The London Stock Exchange temporarily nose-dived yesterday following a technology blackout – with sabotage remaining a possibility.

The LSE systems reportedly crashed a total of three times over a period of two hours earlier this week, as stocks fell.

Although the problem was put down to ‘human error’ the LSE did not initially rule out ‘suspicious circumstances’ – although financial gain does not appear to be the motive.

The LSE are in the process of migrating their current Turquoise trading system to a new Linux model, following several high profile meltdowns.

The changeover – scheduled for this month – has been cited as the reason for yesterday’s drops in shares, with a 2.4 per cent fall to 725.5 pence recorded, irrespective of the blackout.

In a statement, the LSE said that it was taking the incident very seriously and was launching a full internal investigation. The police have, too, been notified.

The migration to the new system has thus been delayed, with January pencilled in a possible date for completion, as mystery surrounds the reason for the system failure.

In May the US stock market dived after a broker allegedly – and accidentally – hit ‘B’ for billion instead of ‘M’ for Million.