US derivatives exchange operator CME Group has confirmed it will close its trading floor in Chicago, in the first major move by an exchange to combat the spread of coronavirus.
In a statement, CME Group confirmed the trading floor will close at the end of the business day on Friday 13 March.
CME added that no coronavirus cases have been reported on the trading floor, but it will close “as a precaution to reduce large gatherings that can contribute to the spread of coronavirus in line with the advice of medical professionals”.
The company’s headquarters will remain open, and all products will continue to trade on its Globex electronic trading platform. Traders and those working on the trading floor will also receive a Q&A around execution of certain floor products, procedures and protocols.
The measure comes as US president Donald Trump banned citizens from Europe entering the US for 30 days as part of a travel ban to reduce the spread of coronavirus. At the same time, the World Health Organisation has now labelled the outbreak a “pandemic”, urging governments to more serious action.
Major banks across Europe such as Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, BNP Paribas, UBS and Citigroup, have also split teams or relocated staff to backup trading sites on the outskirts of Central London, to ensure minimal disruption if the virus spreads.
Most have also implemented travel bans, and various industry conferences have been forced to postpone or cancel events due to concerns around the safety of delegates. The FIX EMEA Trading Conference was among the latest industry events to be cancelled.
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