Wednesday, September 26, 2012

EU lawmakers to vote for sweeping markets reforms

(Reuters) - Curbs on firms that trade shares faster than the blink of an eye move a step nearer in the European Union on Wednesday when the bloc's parliament votes to introduce sweeping reforms of securities markets.

High-frequency trading has been singled out by regulators and policymakers on both sides of the Atlantic for favoring speculators and adding to volatility.

High-frequency trading by Optiver, IMC Trading and other firms involves posting orders for milliseconds at a time to exploit tiny differences in share prices. The firms involved say they are courted by exchanges to provide liquidity to markets.

The European Parliament's economic affairs committee votes at 9.30 a.m. EDT to update an EU law known as Mifid, which was instrumental in ending national stock exchange monopolies.

A cross-party move to force traders to place orders in markets for at least half a second is expected to be voted through. Read More