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I understand that in order for a trade to occur, a buyer and a seller must agree on the price and that the number of shares transacted at that price is determined by the number of shares available at that price.

What if investors think that a company is doing so badly that there just aren't any buyers at any price? In this case, will share price plummet any amount necessary until a match is achieved?

If equality between buyers and sellers is reached so that a trade can be completed, how does electronic trading allow for a price to come up immediately, to buy or to sell? How can a match be made so quickly and a price arrived at?

And if a match can't be achieved, will the company be suspended from trading?

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    The stock price would remain static, as it just reflects the last actual transaction. With no buyers, there would be no bids available, and the asks (offers to sell) would probably stay the same or decrease over time. – chepner Mar 1 at 15:45
  • related topic: Flash Crash – Alex R Mar 2 at 0:41
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    Your title is rather misleading. At least in the US, a company doesn't generally sell its own shares (outside of IPOs and new share issues), they're traded among sellers and buyers. So nothing necessarily happens to the company: either it recovers and people want to buy its shares again, or it fails and the shares become worthless. – jamesqf Mar 2 at 5:32
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It seems you have a misconception about share prices - they are not 'made' by someone or something. They are the direct result of a buyer and seller agreeing on a price.

So if nobody wants to buy - for whatever valid or other reason - no sales happen, and therefore there is no new 'share price'. The reported 'last sale price' would simply continue to be reported as just that.

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This applies to trading in the USA and I would guess that it's similar in the UK:

The market is an auction and there will always be someones willing to transact at some price as long as the company is eligible for trading. The proof of that is that we have penny stocks that trade in the sub one cent range.

Stocks are suspended from trading by the SEC (our regulatory authority) when there are concerns about a company's financial information or operations. This is done to protect investors until an investigation is completed.

If buy and sell orders match in price and volume, electronic trading matches them immediately.

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What if investors think that a company is doing so badly that there just aren't any buyers at any price? In this case, will share price plummet any amount necessary until a match is achieved?

There will be quite a few illiquid stocks that don't trade... There can be many reasons and not just the company is not doing well. If a company is not doing well, the share price keeps going down. i.e sellers will keep putting a ask that is low... Even at this price, it may not find any buyers.... So it doesn't trade for few days or months...

If equality between buyers and sellers is reached so that a trade can be completed, how does electronic trading allow for a price to come up immediately, to buy or to sell? How can a match be made so quickly and a price arrived at?

The electronic trade doesn't arrive at price... It's buyers and sellers putting a trade value that are matched immediately if possible when ask or bids are submitted.

if a match can't be achieved, will the company be suspended from trading?

Shares are suspended due to variety of financial reasons... Not due to not traded for few days...

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In addition to what has been explained by others, you should understand the concept (at least in the US) of Market Makers.

A market maker is a trader whose primary job is to create liquidity in the market by buying and selling securities. Market makers are always ready to buy and sell within the market at a publicly-quoted price. Usually, a market maker is a brokerage house, large bank, or other institution. However, it is possible for individuals to be market makers, as well.

As the name suggests, market makers “create the market.” In other words, they create liquidity in the market by being readily available to buy and sell securities. This creates liquidity within the market. Most importantly, it helps other trades occur smoothly. Without market makers, the market would be relatively illiquid, which would prohibit the ease of trades.

They exist basically to make sure there will always be a buyer/seller available, though they are not required to give you a price that you like, if you're on the other end of their trade!

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