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ASX speeding tickets triple on social media-driven speculation

The number of ‘speeding tickets’ sent out to ASX-listed companies has tripled since 2019 due to market volatility and a surge of retail investors and speculators into the market.

Sudden unexplained jumps or drops in stock prices saw market operator, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), issue 63 price query notices in January and 60 in February this year, compared to an average of 33 notices a month in 2020. The number of notices send a month in 2019 was even lower at 20 notices.

The ASX has been handing out a lot more ‘speeding tickets’ as investors and companies contend with COVID uncertainty.

The ASX has been handing out a lot more ‘speeding tickets’ as investors and companies contend with COVID uncertainty. Credit:Louie Douvis

“Our surveillance team closely monitors a range of social media platforms and is aware of multiple instances where social media (Twitter, Reddit, HotCopper, Facebook and some less well known forums) has contributed to a surge in the price of a stock,” an ASX spokesman said.

Colloquially known as speeding tickets, price query notices are sent to companies that have a sudden move in share price absent any announcements from the company or sector news flow. Often the ASX’s compliance team pauses trading until the company responds.

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