Regulators around the world are considering ways to address perceived issues related to high-frequency trading. Meanwhile, exchanges are taking steps ahead of any regulatory mandates. Market participants, meanwhile, are warning that misguided changes could affect liquidity. "If you remove high-frequency traders from the market, either by forcing them to throttle their technology or by changing their fees or by making them meet liquidity obligations, and they just step away, then I think you'd see even less liquidity on the screen than there is at the moment," said Richard Balarkas, CEO at Instinet.

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