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January 2, 2007

Nasdaq Launches Dark Pool

By Peter Chapman

Nasdaq will introduce a new crossing system that will match up block-sized orders continuously. That's according to Chris Concannon, Nasdaq's executive vice president in charge of transaction services.

The new system will complement Nasdaq's opening and closing crosses as well as an intraday cross slated to launch soon. Concannon, speaking at the annual Security Traders Association conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., described the system as a "dark liquidity pool hidden inside the liquidity of the continuous market." Block orders residing in the new system will interact with other blocks in the system as well as the main Nasdaq market "when it can satisfy the block size," Concannon noted. The new service will not become operable until Nasdaq merges its three trading platforms into a single system that Nasdaq has dubbed Single Book.