Reddit-inspired GameStop trading frenzy throttled as trading apps slam on the brakes

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The ongoing Reddit-inspired bull run in shares of GameStop Corp (NYSE:GME) has encountered another hurdle as several popular trading apps suspended trading of the stock and others associated with the rally as a surge of investor demand disrupted their services.

READ: GameStop’s Reddit-driven ‘YOLO’ trading frenzy draws attention of White House, US regulators

On Thursday afternoon, US trading app Robinhood said it was restricting trading in shares of GameStop and other companies including cinema chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc (NYSE:AMC) in response to the current market volatility.

Meanwhile, rival platform Trading 212 said that it had also decided to temporarily stop users buying GameStop and AMC shares in order to “mitigate risk for our clients” in what it said was “an unprecedented market environment”.

The two platforms have now restricted the shares to ‘reduce-only’ mode, meaning users can only sell shares they already own in the firms rather than purchase new ones, a move that quickly attracted the ire of traders looking to get in on the rally, which was sparked by a desire to upend large bets made against short sellers against GameStop but has since evolved into a battle between retail investors and financial institutions.

Despite the throttling, GameStop’s shares were still managing to ascend in mid-morning trading in New York, up 14.8% at US$397.08 at around 10.30am Eastern Time.

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