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CME To Shut Down Chicago Trading Floor Over Coronavirus Concerns

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CME To Shut Down Chicago Trading Floor Over Coronavirus Concerns

CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME) will close its Chicago trading floor at the end of the session on Friday for an indefinite time, it announced Wednesday.

What Happened

The exchange operator said its decision comes as precaution against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States, even as no coronavirus case has been reported at the Chicago trading floor. The measure will "reduce large gatherings that can contribute to the spread of [coronavirus.]"

Trading on CME's electronic trading platform, Globex will continue as usual, the company said. Its headquarters in Chicago will also continue to operate for the time being.

"The reopening of the trading floor will be evaluated as more medical guidance on the coronavirus becomes available," CME added.

Why It Matters

CME has become the first major U.S. exchange desk to close down a trading floor. Its decision comes as 1,281 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in the country, including 36 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The New York Stock Exchange is also taking precautions to keep its trading floor open, including asking staffers to use different entrances and eating spaces, according to Reuters.

Several technology companies, including, Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), have also asked employees to work from home to help avoid community spread.

Price Action

CME's shares closed nearly 6% lower at $194.68 on Wednesday. The shares traded further 0.86% lower at $193.01 in the after-hours session.

 

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