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New Zealand's stock market trading halted after system fault

[WELLINGTON] New Zealand's stock market was halted Tuesday after a system fault at the country's national stock exchange.

Live prices and indexes stopped updating at 11.15am in Wellington, and remained unavailable more than three hours later. NZX Ltd, which operates the exchange, has successfully completed checks on the trading system and is restarting its connectivity gateways to brokers and software vendors, it said in an update at 2.04pm.

"The incident with trading in the markets experienced today was due to an internal operational issue, which is being further investigated," Graham Law, chief financial officer at NZX, said in an emailed statement. "The exchange has been in regular contact with market participants throughout the period."

The fault comes near the end of the reporting season that has seen seven of the market's 10 biggest companies disclose full-year earnings.

"Capital markets and capital market efficiency are an important part of the economy, particularly for a small open economy like New Zealand," said Shane Solly, a portfolio manager at Harbour Asset Management. "Reporting season may be seeing volumes a bit lower than normal, but it's often a crucial time of the year for investors that need to reset their portfolio positions."

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