Possible Trading Errors in London

Sudden swings in HSBC and Diageo shares spark concern, raise questions about exchange stability in computer age.

Shares in two of Europe’s biggest companies veered more than 6 percent from their market price earlier today, swings that in one case affected levels in the benchmark gauge for European equities before it was reversed.

HSBC Holdings Plc jumped 9.9 percent to 688 pence around 11:20 a.m. in London before falling back to 629 pence a few minutes later. The increase was mirrored in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, which momentarily pared its losses by 0.5 percent during the period. About two hours earlier, Diageo, the world’s biggest distiller, dipped 11 percent to 1,691 before erasing the loss over a five-minute stretch.

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