CME will close trading floor on Friday amid coronavirus spread

Quick Take

  • CME Group, the U.S. firm which launched Bitcoin futures in late 2017, plans to close its trading floor in Chicago
  • The move is tied to the spread of coronavirus, which has gripped U.S. financial markets.

CME Group will close its Chicago trading floor at the end of the day on Friday, CNBC reported Wednesday. 

The derivatives exchange, which facilitates the trading of contracts tied to oil, agriculture products and U.S. stocks, said it made the decision as a precaution due to the spread of coronavirus. In a statement the exchange group said:

"No coronavirus 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 will remain open, the statement added. Approximately 450 people trade or work with traders on CME's floor, according to a spokeswoman. CME is also one of the few exchanges in the U.S. that offers Bitcoin derivatives contracts, with the other notable one being Intercontinental Exchange-backed Bakkt. 

As of today, there are 1,107 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S., with 25 in Illinois, CME's home state.


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Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the New York Stock Exchange's parent company, ICE, said it had no plans to close its trading floor on Wall Street. There are more than 200 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York. In February, Fox News reported that NYSE was preparing for the possible closure of its trading floor.

New York-based Nasdaq plans to prep for a back-up trading floor and data facility in Philadelphia's Navy Yard business center, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer

Across Wall Street, firms are allowing their traders to work remotely thanks to the blessings of FINRA. Financial services firms from Wells Fargo to BlackRock have confirmed cases within their offices. 

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