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Eurex rejects calls to void DAX futures trade after halt

Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange February 6, 2014. REUTERS/Remote/Stringer
Traders are pictured at their desks in front of the DAX board at the Frankfurt stock exchange February 6, 2014. REUTERS/Remote/Stringer

By Anika Ross and Maria Sheahan

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Europe's leading derivatives exchange rejected requests to void trades made during an abnormal plunge in German equity futures shortly after the European Central Bank announced its latest rate decision.

Trade in the front-month March futures contract on the blue-chip DAX index <.GDAXI> was halted after it fell 2 percent in the space of a minute, a move that some in the market attributed to human error, known as a "fat finger".

Exchange operator Deutsche Boerse was quick to counter that talk, however, saying it had stopped trading due to excess volatility and it was "very unlikely" to have been triggered by one unlucky trader.

"We rule that out because our systems have various safety measures to safeguard against that," a spokesman said on Thursday.

While some market participants had asked to have certain trades declared void, Eurex, Europe's largest futures trading venue, said all deals were valid and would stand.

The sharp DAX drop comes a week after a similar fall in the shares of British bank HSBC , which was estimated to have cost the trader in question around 400,000 pounds ($652,200).

($1 = 0.6133 British pounds)

(Additional reporting by Francesco Canepa, Atul Prakash, Sudip Kar-Gupta and Alistair Smout in London; writing by Maria Sheahan and Simon Jessop; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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