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NYSE to ease floor restrictions for vaccinated traders

05/07/2021 12:47
NYSE to ease floor restrictions for vaccinated traders

By John McCrank

- The New York Stock Exchange will allow more traders to return to its 11 Wall Street trading floor, based on vaccination rates, and ease restrictions for people who have had a shot, its President Stacey Cunningham said on Friday.

The NYSE, which is owned by Intercontinental Exchange Inc ICE.N, said trading firms with 100% of their floor staff vaccinated can increase headcount at their booths, and while vaccinated traders still have to socially distance, they can remove their masks when seated.

"Given the fact that so many more people are vaccinated now, we can start to ease off on some of the restrictions that we've had in place since we reopened," Cunningham told CNBC.

The NYSE floor is the last physical U.S. stock trading venue, as a slew of all-electronic competitors have emerged and eaten away at the Big Board's once dominant market share.

Futures exchange operator CME Group Inc CME.O said on Tuesday it would permanently shutter the physical trading pits it closed last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. nL4N2MR45B

The 144-year-old London Metal Exchange said last month it will announce around June 8 whether it will reopen its open outcry trading ring or permanently shut the only such floor in Europe. nL1N2MN0YB

The NYSE closed its trading floor in March 2020 and moved to electronic trading for the first time in 228 years after several traders contracted the coronavirus. nL4N2BB556

The exchange reopened the floor, which it also uses for its opening and closing bell ceremonies, to tout initial public offerings, and as a backdrop for several television news programs, in May 2020 with reduced capacity and extra safety measures. nL1N2D32HF

Cunningham said the NYSE floor is currently at around 50% of its pre-COVID capacity.


(Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Alexander Smith)

(([email protected] Twitter @jmccrank; 1 646 223-6643; Reuters Messaging: [email protected]))