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9/11, Japan emperor abdication: 5 times markets had to down their shutters

After the September 11 attacks, NYSE was shut till September 14, while the Nasdaq remained closed till September 17.

, ET Bureau|
May 23, 2019, 10.06 AM IST
0Comments
Agencies
NYSE
Financial institutions and brokerages that had their premises in the World Trade Centre were crippled by the loss of personnel and hardware.
Global trade is wary of force majeure — the death of a loved statesman, an outgoing monarch, or even hungry squirrels nibbling on wires. Here are some instances when markets had to down their shutters.

April 27-May 6, 2019
Country: Japan

On April 30, Emperor Akihito abdicated the Chrysanthemum Throne, becoming the first Japanese monarch to do so. His departure was accompanied by festivities, with the government chalking out 10 days on the imperial calendar as national holidays.

TokyoSE

The Tokyo Stock Exchange remained closed during the period; the longest ever break for Japan’s stocks and bonds since World War II.

September 11-14, 2001
Country: USA

On September 11, 2001, two hijacked aircraft crashed into the World Trade Centre in New York, sounding the death knell to America’s perception of impregnability. The opening bell was not rung on the NYSE, not far from the site of destruction. The NYSE was shut till September 14, while the Nasdaq remained closed till September 17. Financial institutions and brokerages that had their premises in the World Trade Centre were crippled by the loss of personnel and hardware. On the first day of trade post the attack, the market was down 7.1 per cent, in what was then the biggest single-day loss in the exchange’s history.

January 27-March 23, 2011
Country: Egypt

The Egyptian Exchange was shut down for almost two months after public protests toppled the regime of Hosni Mubarak. Egypt’s then finance minister, Samir Radwan, rang the bell to much fanfare when the exchange reopened on March 23, but the festive atmosphere soon turned into despair.

HosniMubarak
Hosni Mubarak during a visit to India.

The bourse, which has offices in both Cairo and Alexandria, fell almost nine per cent within a minute. The erosion of value was triggered by the exodus of foreign investors, apprehensive of investigations into alleged malpractices committed by companies whose promoters were perceived as being close to the incumbent.

November 22, 1963
Country: USA

It was business as usual on Wall Street till news started trickling in from Dallas around noon that President John F Kennedy was fatally shot by former US Marine Lee Harvey Oswald. The NYSE shut down at 2.07 pm, with the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 paring 2.8 percent of its value.

NYSE1

The assassination, which happened at the height of the Cold War, opened up the possibility of Soviet involvement in shaping the public discourse in the US. The market rebounded the following day after Lyndon Johnson took over the presidency, assuaging fears of a foreign attack and a conspiracy within the government.

August 2, 1994
Country: USA

Trade on the NYSE was brought to a standstill on an autumn day in 1994. The culprit for the outage was a squirrel that had chewed through a power line near the exchange’s computer centre in Trumbull, Connecticut. The shutdown, which lasted for half-an-hour, resulted in the NYSE operating at 85 per cent capacity. When power was restored and the glitch rectified, investors panicked, resulting in a session of wild market swings. The culprit, however, was not apprehended.



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