Date
25 May 2017
The 'flash crash' of May 6, 2010 saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunge more than 600 points in a matter of minutes. Photo: Bloomberg
The 'flash crash' of May 6, 2010 saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunge more than 600 points in a matter of minutes. Photo: Bloomberg

UK trader arrested over 2010 Wall Street ‘flash crash’

A financial trader has been arrested in Britain after US authorities accused him of contributing to the 2010 “flash crash” on Wall Street.

Navinder Singh Sarao, 37, has been detained as he was charged with wire fraud, commodities fraud and market manipulation, BBC reported.

The US Department of Justice is seeking to extradite the UK trader to stand trial in Illinois, it said.

The department alleges that Sarao used an automated trading program to manipulate the market for S&P 500 futures contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the largest US futures market, according to the Financial Times.

He is said to have used a variety of trading techniques designed to push prices sharply in one direction and then profit from other investors following the pattern or exiting the market.

Authorities estimate that Sarao made about US$40 million in total between 2010 and 2014 trading in S&P 500 futures contracts.

The flash crash of May 6, 2010 saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunge more than 600 points in a matter of minutes.

Shares of leading companies such as General Electric and Accenture traded at just one cent during the mayhem, and thousands of trades were subsequently cancelled.

The chaos, triggered by a large move in the underlying futures market, rattled other markets that trade electronically including bonds and currencies.

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RC

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