October 29, 2012

The CME said it will suspend floor trading on Monday at its NYMEX world headquarters because of mandatory evacuation by the city of New York ahead of Hurricane Sandy but the move is unlikely to affect trade as higher-volume electronic dealing will operate normally.

The building, closest in New York City to the Hudson River, is in evacuation Zone A, CME spokesman Damon Leavall said.

Electronic trading at all CME markets will open at the regularly scheduled time at Globex and ClearPort, CME's online electronic platforms.

The CME is the world's largest futures trading exchange whose contracts include energy, agriculture and foreign exchange.

"This is a new chapter in trading. Not even a hurricane can stop trading," said Carl Larry, president of New York-based Oil Outlooks.

Over the past decade, the NYMEX has seen floor volumes lose ground to electronic trade. Once noisy, busy pits packed with traders, the floors are a quiet shadow of their 1990s heyday as electronic dealing has siphoned off volumes.

Floor trading volumes of the NYMEX crude oil contract on Friday totaled 55,475 lots. Electronic trading volumes of the same contract came to 202,173 lots, Reuters data showed.

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