Can't trade - no answer for 2 days

Hi, if anyone’s monitoring this, I can’t sell a particular stock (CNOOC - CEO:NYSE) for 2 days now, and nobody replies to my chat messages in the app.

Please HELP !

Try selling much smaller chunks, and perhaps setting sell orders. You could look up the live price on YF or Google and aim for slightly below so it is more likely to fill. Hope it works for you.

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Interestingly, I’ve been trying to buy this stock since 19/02 but keep getting rejected.

I’ve not been able to find any information in terms of what could be causing it, though possible it’s just rare that people are looking to buy/sell regularly at the amounts we are trying to sell and buy respectively.

Out of interest, how much are you looking to sell?

I’ve been waiting more than a week for my recent query and still waiting. Freetrade should be careful not to neglect customer support as they grow. Used to excel in this area, not so good these days.

Best of luck!

From doing a bit more digging, there appears to have been sanctions imposed on them by the outgoing US government. This is down to the tensions between US and China, since the company is partly owned by the Chinese state.

I’m not 100% clear on the impact, but reading between the lines it seems like these sanctions have imposed restrictions on trades of the stock.

Have you been able to make any purchase/sales of the stock since 1st February? If not, I fear this may be why.


This appears to restrict buying the stock in the US, but I’m slightly more hazy about how it impacts us trading in the market from the UK. Certainly though if buys are restricted, it would be impossible to sell too.

I tried to sell the entire position (75.something), only full shares (75 and 35), I tried Sell at Market (Basic Order), Limit order, Triggered order, Triggered stop loss. I tried during the market hours, before and outside market hours. Always get order rejected.

It’s been 3 days now. I cannot believe I pay 10 pounds every month for this.

Tried everything. Also my account works, I can trade other stock. It’s just this one that doesn’t. And Freetrade doesn’t pick up the issue for 3 days now …

I think that’s the answer! Even though we are in the UK, we trade on the New York Stock Exchange, so any regulations that affect the NYSE will affect the trades we do. The NYSE doesn’t know your nationality, so will just impose blanket restrictions on trading the shares.

See for example:

The lesson for investors is to keep an eye on the news about the companies you own! I think the only thing you can do now is wait for the US-China political situation to warm up a bit.

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Thing is, if its banned in the US, even if you can technically sell from UK, there will be so few buyers.

Yesterday’s volume was 17000, that’s nowhere near enough for liquidity. When I had one like this I put a very low sell order on and it went 2 days later.

Well, the thing is I cannot place that Sell order. Nothing. I know the stock is under restrictions, and with low liquidity, but it is still trading. But I cannot put any Sell order (market, stop loss, triggered, take profit) at any price.

Basically I just want to get rid of the position, but cannot, although NYSE trading conditions allow it.

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The NYSE doesn’t know your nationality, so will just impose blanket restrictions on trading the shares.
NYSE has put the stock on Reduce Only mode, which means you can only Sell. I have another account with Saxo Bank - proper broker - and I can test, see print screen:

You can still sell your shares, as Adam was saying, yesterday volume was 17 943, not a lot but still doable (I need to sell 75 shares, mate, I’m no stockmarket whale).

I think I need to take this to TripAdvisor, I will also cancel my Plus membership and find another broker for my ISA.

PS. This is not the first time. I have a complaint with FreeTrade since Jan 11th still unanswered, because their app wouldn’t take my sell orders for China Mobile and China Telecom, and their support was slow enough that by the time they answered the stocks were delisted. Now I have those positions as dead money in my account.

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So because of restrictions imposed on this stock by the US Government, FT are struggling to find buyers for your stock. I’m not entirely sure how FT are at fault for that.

Erm. Not sure how that will help?


FT are struggling to find buyers for your stock.

@tbutz, I don’t think this is a dating service, I’m not expecting FT to find me a buyer :rofl:. Their job is to post the order in the market. They’re not doing that :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:.

I’m also a Plus client here, paying 10₤ per month. I have raised a query with their customer service 3 days ago. No answer, although that is their job. They’re not doing that either :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:.

Don’t stop there, you might as well leave a review on Yelp too.

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As ever, this issue has popped up again. One of the thousands of threads complaining FT arent allowing you to buy or sell which is just untrue.

As with any of this investment stuff, DYOR. The ability (or lack thereof) to buy and sell has been covered so many times by users and FT itself.

Just because you want to leave a position does not mean you always can. If you have any issue with paying £10 per month… well… no one has forced you to… they do offer a free service which no other app I’ve used does.


Dear Brian,

Oh, I am very much getting to grips with this one. By the looks of it, this is a “best effort” service, and I should not have here 160k₤ if I expect any better.

Why are you blaming Freetrade for not being able to process your order?” Well, because NYSE allows it, because you can do it with other brokers, because I expect brokerage service. Really, let’s see how you would like to sit on dead money because your broker is busy or couldn’t care less. It’s my money, dear Brian, I worked for them, am I asking too much to get my money back?

Don’t be just another colleague going for the user, not for the topic … Stop picking on me, you might end up in the same situation soon, just try to focus on:

  • Is there any reason for the orders not to be processed?

  • Can their Customer Service reply please to assist me with this?

  • Is there anything that can be done in this type of situation?

And you know because …? Have you looked into this? Can you actually bring any useful information on the topic?

First, not true. Second, free doesn’t mean no obligations. They are a broker, they do have a duty of care and legal obligations. You’re implying that even paying them it’s my problem and there’s no string attached. Preposterous.

Anything on the topic maybe?

The orders won’t be processed if there’s not a buyer - based on the amount you’re trying to sell, there just simply might not have been someone wanting these quantities of stock (whether this be too many or too few).

I’d imagine a lot of people are trying to exit their positions in this stock, and the amount of people able to buy is extremely restricted which will make the process even more difficult.

I completely understand the frustration around customer service response times and hope you get a response soon but feel it may be along similar lines of what I’ve posted earlier in the thread.

This borders on the debate on previous threads as to whether Freetrade should be there to alert their customers of all changes that could have implications on their holdings - personally, they’re a platform to facilitate the trades and not to help track changes that may impact individual portfolios. Opinions may differ.

In terms of what can be done in this situation, I say it would either be to continue to try and sell the stock in app, possibly even smaller quantities at once to try and clear some of it. I do hope you manage to exit your position and you get a response to your query from customer service, but I fear that won’t automatically mean you can sell.


Many thanks, @Schkempo. Finally a worthy comment, I was about to lose hope here.

Why would the order not be processed and posted, regardless of matching buyers available in the market? I thought especially the limit orders and triggered orders are posted regardless, and triggered when the conditions are met.

Much appreciate your support on this. :+1: