CME fines Infinium $850K for trading glitches

Exchange operator CME Group Inc. fined Infinium Capital Management, a U.S. high-frequency trading firm, a total of $850,000 for three computer malfunctions that rattled futures markets in 2009 and 2010.

Infinium trading programs malfunctioned Oct. 7 and 28, 2009, causing uncontrolled selling of e-mini contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Then on Feb. 3, 2010, the firm lost control of an algorithm that bought oil futures in rapid succession on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

CME, which runs both exchanges, charged the firm Friday for "acts detrimental" to the marketplace in the October incident, for improper identification in the February incident and for failing to supervise its activities in both cases.

Reuters reported the oil-futures algorithm malfunction and CME investigation last year. Infinium's buying Feb. 3 sparked a $1 surge in oil prices late that day as the computer program sent thousands of orders per second, racking up a million-dollar loss for the firm.

CME fines Infinium $850K for trading glitches

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