Exceptional Circumstances

Understanding market volatility and it’s impact on your portfolio.

What are exceptional circumstances?

Financial markets are known to fluctuate, sometimes even experiencing rapid shifts. This is referred to as market volatility. During periods of heightened volatility, often triggered by rare and unexpected events, we strongly recommend that you monitor your investment portfolio more intensively.

We also advise you to pay special attention to communications from Interactive Brokers.

In this article, we explain how to engage in more intensive portfolio monitoring, where to find additional information, and how these situations could potentially impact your portfolio.

How do I see if a product is blocked?

For investors, it’s crucial to maintain an overview of the situation and to quickly determine if the products in their portfolios are still tradable, enabling them to act promptly. Whether a product has been blocked by the responsible broker or the respective exchange can be determined based on various indications.

Below, we’ll show you how to check if products have been blocked due to unpredictable events, often referred to as a Black Swan Event.

The examples provided are based on LYNX+ and the Trader Workstation.

After logging into LYNX+ and filling the order ticket, it is recommended to check the preview window. If you are not able to transmit an order in the product to LYNX because order execution by Interactive Brokers is not possible you will immediately receive a red error message.

Please check whether the error message refers to the ongoing exceptional circumstances; this is usually displayed as “Regulatory Restriction” or “Sanctioned“.

After logging into the Trader Workstation you can see the first signs of a blocked product within the “Financial Instrument” column of your watchlist or portfolio, in most cases it will show a red warning icon. Hover your mouse over the warning icon to read the message. Messages like “Sanctioned” or “Regulatory Restriction” generally indicate a block resulting from exceptional circumstances.

During Black Swan Events, stock exchanges may remain closed and products may not be tradable. In such scenarios, you may not see any warning signs in your watchlist or portfolio. However, as soon as you have filled the order ticket and displayed the preview window, you will receive an error message indicating that the product is blocked due to a “Regulatory Restriction“. Alternatively, the message may display that the product is “Sanctioned“.

Alternatively, you can obtain information about the tradability of the products from the websites of Interactive Brokers or other external sources. In principle, the websites of Interactive Brokers, the respective stock exchanges or the websites of authorized financial authorities are suitable for obtaining trustworthy information. You will read more about this in the following section.


Products can be blocked at any moment, often without prior warning.

Stay informed

As an investor, staying on top of the financial markets is crucial. You can find certain and reliable information about market restrictions as well as restrictions concerning certain stocks on the respective website of the exchange. We also recommend using external sources for more insights.

USANASDAQNasdaq: Stock Market, Data Updates, Reports & News
 New York Stock ExchangeThe New York Stock Exchange | NYSE
AustraliaAustralian Stock Exchangehttps://www2.asx.com.au/
BelgiumEuronext BrusselEuronext Brussels | live
CanadaToronto Stock ExchangeTMX Group
 TSX VentureTMX Group
GermanyFrankfurt Stock ExchangeFrankfurt Stock Exchange: Quotes, Charts and News
 Stuttgart Stock ExchangeHome | Börse Stuttgart
EstoniaNASDAQ BalticHome
FranceEuronext Francehttps://www.euronext.com/en/markets/paris
Hong KongHong Kong Stock ExchangeHKEX
HungaryBudapest Stock ExchangeContents
IndiaNational Stock Exchange of IndiaNSE – National Stock Exchange of India Ltd: Live Share/Stock Market News & Updates, Quotes- Nseindia.com
ItalyBorsa ItalianaBorsa Italiana: Italian Stock Exchange in Milan – Borsa Italiana
JapanTokyo Stock ExchangeJapan Exchange Group
LatviaNASDAQ BalticHome
LithuaniaNASDAQ BalticHome
MexicoMexican Stock Exchange.::. Grupo BMV .::. Equity
The NetherlandsEuronext NederlandEuronext Amsterdam – AEX | Live
NorwayNASDAQ Nordic
Oslo Stock Exchange
Nasdaq Nordic – Share quotes – Indexes – Company news – Nasdaq
 Oslo Stock ExchangeOslo | euronext.com
AustriaVienna Stock ExchangeAktien · Charts · News : Wiener Börse
PolandWarsaw Stock Exchangehttps://www.gpw.pl/en-home
RussiaMoscow Exchangehttps://www.moex.com/en/
SingaporeSingapore ExchangeSingapore Exchange – Singapore Exchange (SGX)
SpainBolsa de MadridBolsa de Madrid | BME Exchange
UKLondon Stock ExchangeLondon Stock Exchange | London Stock Exchange
SwedenNASDAQ Stockholm ABNasdaq Nordic – Share quotes – Indexes – Company news – Nasdaq
SwitzerlandSIX Swiss ExchangeThe Future of Finance Is Now | SIX

Disclaimer: Please note that LYNX does not assume any liability for the mentioned sources.

How do extreme markets influence my portfolio?

Extreme markets are markets that experience high volatility movements due to internal or external events. These market movements can have several consequences, including but not limited to:

Increase in Volatility

Volatility is a statistical measure of the dispersion of returns for a given security or market index. In most cases, the higher the volatility, the riskier the security. Volatility is often measured as either the standard deviation or variance between returns from that same security or market index.

In the securities markets, volatility is often associated with big swings in either direction. For example, when the stock market rises and falls more than one percent over a sustained period, it is called a “volatile” market. An asset’s volatility is a key factor when pricing options contracts.

Please note

In extreme movement of markets, the volatility tends to increase.

Change in IB Margin Policies

As a LYNX client, you open a trading account held at Interactive Brokers (or “IB”). The trading account can be a cash account or a margin account. In the case of a margin account, IB has a very strict margin requirement, the terms and conditions of which can be found by clicking here: Margin Requirements | Interactive Brokers Ireland

LYNX has no influence on the operation of this margin, this is the sole responsibility of IB. To ensure the safety of its clients in all circumstances, Interactive Brokers may change certain measures relating to margin requirements in the event of unprecedented volatility in the financial markets at any time and also fully at their own discretion. When this occurs, the changes encourage the reduction of leverage in client portfolios and thereby ensure that client accounts are properly funded.

Interactive Brokers are committed to a forward-looking, prudent, and realistic approach to risk management.

You must ensure to have enough excess liquidity to protect your portfolio from liquidation due to increase margin requirements. In case of a margin violation immediate liquidation of portfolio positions without further notification can occur.

Change in Exchange/Statutory

Exchanges may restrict or halt certain securities from trading with or without notice.

Brokers will follow all regulations related to restrictions or halts which impact the transmission of orders.

This may result in the following events:

  • New positions cannot be opened.
  • Current positions may not be closed anymore.
  • Transfers of targeted assets may be unavailable.
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