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Online trading platforms crash amid GameStop and AMC stock market frenzy

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The outage has been linked to a flurry of interest around GameStop (GME), which has soared around 1,700% since the start of the year. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
The outage has been linked to a flurry of interest around GameStop (GME), which has soared around 1,700% since the start of the year. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A string of online trading platforms, including Robinhood, Trading 212 and Hargreaves Lansdown, are down on Wednesday afternoon amid a stock market trading frenzy.

The outage has been linked to a flurry of interest around GameStop (GME), which has soared around 1,700% since the start of the year.

The video game retailer has been boosted recently as short-sellers and Reddit WallStreetBets users clashed causing a massive short squeeze on the stock. A short squeeze forces those who bet against the stock to buy in order to forestall bigger losses, sending the stock price much higher.

GameStop started the year at $17 (£12), and as of Wednesday afternoon at the time of writing was $319, up more than 120% on the day alone.

GameStop surged yet again on Wednesday
GameStop surged yet again on Wednesday. Chart: Yahoo Finance

Cinema chain AMC (AMC) has received similar attention from amateur traders, climbing more than 300% after Wednesday’s opening bell in New York, its highest level since October 2018.

It later retreated to trade around 220% higher. Trading has been halted multiple times this past week in an attempt to calm volatility.

Trading 212 said that its service was being disrupted “due to an unprecedented increase in demand.” It added that it was looking to resolve the problems “in the shortest period possible.”

Meanwhile, CMC Markets said: “We are aware of some clients experiencing technical issues when trying to log in. This is being investigated as a priority.”

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Some UK stocks were also boosted by the frenzy earlier on Wednesday morning. Cineworld (CINE.L) shares jumped as much as 15% as traders continued to boost heavily-shorted stocks.

The cinema chain, which is the second most shorted UK listed company, according to Short Tracker. Pearson (PSON.L) shares are also amongst the biggest risers on the FTSE 100 (^FTSE), up as much as 15% on Wednesday. A relatively large amount of the stock has been shorted and it is currently the third highest shorted UK stock after Cineworld.

WATCH: Retail investors, hedge funds go to war over GameStop

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