Slowly but surely, the paralysis that has gripped virtually every corner of the global economy is spreading toward the beating heart of the world's capital markets, and according to a notice posted late on Wednesday by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, starting Friday the 13th the world's biggest derivatives marketplace will become a ghost town - well, more so even than usual, since the CME already replaced most humans with algos and computers - as it closes its Chicago trading floor indefinitely "as a precaution to reduce large gatherings that can contribute to the spread of coronavirus in line with the advice of medical professionals."
The CME notice is below:
CME Group today announced it will close its Chicago trading floor as of the close of business Friday, March 13, 2020, as a precaution to reduce large gatherings that can contribute to the spread of coronavirus in line with the advice of medical professionals. All products will continue to trade on CME Globex as they do today.
No coronavirus cases have been reported on the trading floor or in the Chicago Board of Trade building. The reopening of the trading floor will be evaluated as more medical guidance on the coronavirus becomes available. The company's headquarters at 20 S. Wacker Drive will remain open.
The trading floor community will receive an additional q&a tomorrow related to the execution of certain floor products, procedures and protocols and other floor-related practices.
Expect all other cash, future and derivatives exchanges to follow in the CME's footsteps, as the world's professional traders no longer welcome in their place of business, scramble for office space in their parents' basement.