CME, the world's largest futures exchange, is to halt trading at its Chicago hub at the close of play Friday as a precautionary measure in the face of coronavirus and its continued global spread.
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In a statement to the market, CME said it will close its Chicago trading floor as a precaution "to reduce large gatherings that can contribute to the spread of coronavirus in line with the advice of medical professionals. All products will continue to trade on CME Globex as they do today."
A trader said that this could be the "nail in the coffin" for open-outcry trading. Most products are now traded on electronic screens and there is often debate around the need for open-outcry. "COVID-19 is having so many unexpected consequences, it's getting really bad out there," he said.
The CME said that so far no COVID-19 cases have been reported on the trading floor or in the Chicago Board of Trade building.
"The reopening of the trading floor will be evaluated as more medical guidance on the coronavirus becomes available. The company's headquarters at 20 S. Wacker Drive will remain open," the statement said.