Cboe to Open Chicago Outcry Trading Floor Next Week

Cboe Global Markets is set to reopen its trading floor options trading floor on June 8, more than two months after it moved all operations to the digital sphere when the coronavirus pandemic sent all US exchanges into lockdown.

But as new social distance rules come into effect, the exchange said the C1 floor reopening plan is designed to accommodate open outcry trading activity, “while prioritizing the safety and well-being of the trading floor community.”

Cboe’s hybrid open outcry and electronic exchange are one of the few bourses to still feature floor trade as most have shifted to fully-electronic trading.

Upon reopening, the trading floor will look a bit different as personal protective equipment like face masks will be required, and social distancing guidelines will be in place, part of rigorous precautionary measures to limit exposure to the novel COVID-19.

While dispensers and plastic barriers will be a common presence on the post-corona floor, not all Cboe’s employees or investors will be part of the open floor. The exchange operator said it expects only about 50 percent of the normal number of market participants to return on June 8, as well as a limited number of the essential workforce will be on the floor. Most of the Cboe staff will continue to work from home.

The partial reopening will bring an end to the Chicago-based options trading floor’s longest closure ever. It shut down more than two months ago on March 13 in a move described as a precautionary measure to prevent the potential spread of coronavirus, not in response to any confirmed cases of the deadly virus.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has also reopened its trading floor after a two-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

NYSE was the third major U.S. exchange to close a trading floor due to concerns over the coronavirus. Both the futures-exchange giant CME Group and Nasdaq, which trades technology stocks, had closed their trading floors and switched to backup electronic trading systems.

“Cboe has developed and will implement extensive health and safety protocols, which currently include, but are not limited to: reconfiguring the trading floor layout to allow for social distancing and capacity limits, the wearing of face coverings, enhancing daily cleaning and sanitizing procedures, conducting medical screenings at entry points of the building, and restricting trading floor access only to trading floor personnel who the TPH organization has notified Cboe of in advance,” the exchange said.

(Photo: flickr)

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