End of an era? London Metal Exchange proposes closure of open-outcry trade

LONDON (Reuters) – The London Metal Exchange has proposed closing Europe’s last open-outcry trading floor and moving permanently to an electronic system, cementing a change sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. The LME floor closed in March 2020 for the first time since World War II to allow the social-distancing needed to deal with COVID-19, silencing its red ring of seats and the theatre of arcane hand signals and frenzied shouting by traders. LME Chief Executive Matthew Chamberlain told Reuters such a move would allow a broader range of participants and boost transparency of prices used as benchmarks around the world. But the closure is likely to be resisted by some of the exchange’s floor members who have experienced a significant trading volume drop for industrial metals including copper, aluminium, zinc, lead, tin and nickel over the last 10 months. “The ring is a greatly treasured aspect of the LME’s rich 144-year history, and its closure is not a decision we…will take lightly,” Chamberlain said. The proposal was included in a discussion paper issued by the exchange on Tuesday. The deadline for responses is March 19. “A board meeting in April will consider the feedback and appropriate decisions will be made… continue reading

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