NZX Dark

NZX Dark is an exchange-delivered anonymous order book that provides Trading Participants and their clients an alternative to existing trading venues. NZX Dark offers price improvement with every execution and enhanced features and controls to accommodate a wide range of execution strategies.

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Midpoint Pricing
NZX Dark delivers price improvement at the publicity available midpoint of the lit book


An Exchange-run venue, NZX Dark gives all investors access to the liquidity in the market

Improved Price Discovery

Improving price discovery as NZX Dark trades are price-setting

Increased Liquidity

Increasing order book liquidity which is important for VWAP calculations and index inclusion


Trade without leaking order information leakage


Order placers can define the execution criteria including price and minimum execution quantity

Key Features

Unrestricted access
Price improvement through execution at the mid point of NZX Central bid/offer spread without disclosing order information to the market

Available for all products traded on the NZX Main Board (NZSX)

Exchange-delivered sweep order functionality seamlessly integrates with NZX CENTRAL to ensure access for all investors

No mandatory minimum order or executable quantity size

Enhanced order tools that allow investors to determine the price they set and the minimum quantity that they wish to match against

User group management functionality to ensure the anonymity of client orders remains across participant desk operators and traders

Orders are placed, allowed to rest, matched and executed on an anonymous basis, with no market depth visible

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is NZX Dark?

A: NZX Dark is an exchange-managed hidden and anonymous mid-point order book which is only able to match orders at the current mid-point price of the central limit order book (NZX Central).

Q: Why can't I see the orderbook depth in NZX Dark?

A: There is no publicly available market depth and investors and NZX Participants only have visibility of their own orders in this book. This type of order book is commonly referred to as a “Dark” market.

Q: How do orders on NZX Dark match?

A: NZX Dark operates on a time priority basis. This means that if there are multiple orders eligible to trade in NZX Dark (considering their limits versus the current midpoint price and all other order parameters are met) the order entered earliest into NZX Dark will trade.

Q: What is a sweep order

A: A sweep order is a NZX Dark Order that will immediately be routed to NZX Central, to the extent it either fails to match in NZX Dark. This feature allows Participants to potentially access additional liquidity, and to benefit from price improvement on all or part of the order.

Q: How should I use a sweep order?

A: A sweep order allows Participants to potentially access additional liquidity, and to benefit from price improvement on all or part of the order. Participants may consider using a sweep order when placing orders on screen to test NZX Dark for liquidity prior to the order hitting the NZX Central orderbook. This testing of the dark enhances the opportunity for execution at the midpoint providing price improvement that may otherwise not have been possible.

Q: What is the Minimum Execution Quantity (MEQ)?

A: The Minimum Execution Quantity (MEQ) allows order placers and users of NZX Dark to specify a minimum number of shares (minimum partial fill) that an opposing order must satisfy to create a matching trade execution within NZX Dark. MEQ is an optional tool available to users to ensure they achieve what they individually consider to be quality order executions without exposing volume resting in NZX Dark

Q: Are there any minimum order size criteria in NZX Dark?

A: There are no minimum order size criteria in NZX Dark. Order placers can use the MEQ functionality to determine the order size they wish to interact with.

Q: When can NZX Dark be used?

A: NZX Dark is only operational during the Normal Trading Session (continuous trading) and is never available during auctions or while in halt.

Q: How do I access NZX Dark?

A: All NZX Trading Participants will have access to NZX Dark and can provide access to clients in the same manner that they access NZX Central currently.

Q: Can retail investors access NZX Dark?

A: Yes, retail investors are encouraged to speak with their brokers directly about the use of NZX Dark

Q: Are NZX Dark trades reported to the market?

A: NZX Dark orders are not disseminated to the market down any public market data feeds, however trades executed on NZX Dark are reported to market, as on-market trades, and can be identified as having been executed via this venue.

Q: Are trades on NZX Dark price setting?

A: Yes trades on NZX Dark are price setting assuming they meet the existing price setting trade parameters

Q: What message protocols will support NZX Dark

A: Native FIX and OUCH will support NZX Dark for order placement and NZX Dark Trades are visible down the ITCH and MDF data feeds as well as the MT518 post trade confirmation message.

Q: Is Self-match prevention functionality available on NZX Dark?

A: Yes, Self-match prevention (SMP) functionality is available on NZX Dark

Q: Does NZ RegCO Surveillance monitor activity in NZX Dark?

A: Yes NZ RegCo Surveillance will monitor all activity on NZX Dark to ensure NZX markets remain fair, orderly and transparent and to monitor potential breaches of Participant trading conduct obligations.

Q: What fees apply to NZX Dark?

A: All fees relating to NZX Dark are available on the NZX fee schedule here: NZX Dark Fees