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Spanish stocks halted for 5 hours due to trading glitch

August 6, 2012: 11:24 AM ET

A man looks at how Spanish stocks were faring on a screen in Madrid back in 2010 -- when the market was open without any trading glitches.

Computerized trading problems aren't unique to the United States apparently. The main stock market in Spain was halted Monday for nearly 5 hours due to a "technical glitch," according to the index operator.

The IBEX 35 was offline from 10:05 a.m. to 2:50 p.m. local time, a spokesman for the Bolsas y Mercados Españoles said. The index rallied after trading resumed, gaining 2.8%. The spokesman said he did not yet know what caused the outage, but indicated that a statement would be issued once the source was fully uncovered.

Spain has been at the center of market concerns since June, when the government asked its fellow euro area nations for help bailing  out its banks. But yields on Spanish government bonds, particularly shorter-dated maturities, were lower Monday as investors took a positive view of last week's announcement by the European Central Bank.

The market malfunction in Spain comes on the heels of a technical glitch in the U.S. that revived concerns about the dangers of high-frequency trading.

Related: The Wall Street machine is broken

On Aug 1, a trading algorithm operated by Knight Capital Group (KCG) launched a flurry of errant trades in shares of some 150 U.S.-listed companies. The brokerage firm later reported a $440 million loss related to the foul-up.

Knight announced Monday that it had secured a $400 million lifeline from a group of investors including TD Ameritrade (AMTD), Blackstone Group (BX), Getco, Stifel Nicolaus (SF), Jefferies Group (JEF) and Stephens Inc. Despite the news, shares of Knight were down 25%, following volatile swings last week.

-- CNNMoney's Jose Pagliery contributed reporting.

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Ben Rooney
Ben Rooney
Staff writer, CNNMoney

Ben Rooney is a staff writer for CNNMoney. He covers the European debt crisis and other international finance stories, in addition to writing about stocks, bonds, investing and other Wall Street-related news. Follow Ben on Twitter: @ben_rooney

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