Bourses play nice cop to head off speed-trade rules

By Luke Jeffs and Douwe Miedema from Reuters

The world’s stock exchanges are trying to rein in some of the most controversial activities of high-speed trading firms, among their most valued clients, to help head off tough sanctions from regulators.

The London Stock Exchange Group, Deutsche Boerse and Nasdaq OMX have all recently announced fines to cut out speculative trading in high volumes that some of the speed traders engage in.

The trading firms use powerful computers to churn out thousands of proposed trades, or orders, in fractions of a second, a practice critics say has caused detrimental market crashes and can give rise to market abuse.

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