UK markets closed

London Metal Exchange keeps ring trading at HQ until Friday

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the London Metal Exchange, in London

LONDON (Reuters) - The London Metal Exchange (LME) will keep open-outcry trading at its headquarters until Friday before moving all business to its electronic system on Monday.

The world's oldest and largest market for industrial metals had previously said it would shift ring trading to its back-up location in Chelmsford, northeast of London, on Wednesday to safeguard traders from the coronavirus.

New information indicated that remaining in London's financial district "represents the approach with the minimum potential for cross-contamination with other financial services business and the broader population," the exchange said on its website.

The 143-year-old LME plans to close Europe's last open-outcry trading venue temporarily next week and shift all trading to its electronic Select system.

"Ring trading would then be suspended until conditions normalise in respect of COVID-19, at which point ring trading will resume," the LME said.

The exchange, owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing <0388.HK>, this week said that an employee of one its ring-dealing members had contracted the coronavirus.

(Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by David Goodman)