updated 10/31/2005 8:57:47 PM ET 2005-11-01T01:57:47

The Tokyo Stock Exchange suspended trading of stocks and convertible bonds Tuesday because of a system glitch and it wasn’t clear when business would resume, the exchange said.

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The announcement came shortly before trading was to begin at 9 a.m. (7 p.m. EST). Officials had no immediate comment on what caused the problem.

Trading was suspended in shares, exchangeable bonds and convertible bonds — excluding off-floor traded and ToSTNet bonds, the exchange said in a news release. Trading of futures and options, as well as Japanese government bonds, were not affected.

“At this point, we don’t have an estimate on when trading can resume,” TSE systems chief Tomio Amano told reporters.

The bourse, Asia’s largest, has been overhauling its IT infrastructure to deal with recent surges in trading volume.

The last major system failure at the TSE was in August 1997, when morning trading was suspended for all shares and bonds.

Kaoru Yosano, the newly appointed Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister, called the system failure a serious problem and urged the bourse to restart trading as quickly as possible, Kyodo News Agency reported.

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