Cboe Opens Chicago Outcry Trading Floor After 3-Month Closure

Cboe was forced to postpone the partial reopening of its Chicago site due to temporary closures around the city.

Cboe Global Markets Inc. said it had opened the doors to its options trading floor yesterday, nearly three months after it moved all operations to the digital sphere when the coronavirus pandemic sent all US exchanges into lockdown.

Cboe announced earlier it plans to open on June 8, but was forced to postpone the partial reopening of its Chicago site due to temporary closures around the city.

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Trading on Cboe’s hybrid open outcry and electronic exchange was available in an electronic-only trading mode since March 16, but effective Monday has reverted back to its hybrid trading model.

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

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

Cboe said the trading floor now looks 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, as well as a limited number of the essential workforce, which will be on the floor. Most of the Cboe staff will continue to work from home.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has also reopened its trading floor in late May 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.

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