In the wake of coronavirus pandemic, the NYSE has shut down its trading floor for traders temporarily and shifted to electronic stock trading. This was the first time that in its history of over 228 years that NYSE is functioning without opening its physical trading floor. But the closure will have little to no effect on the 28 trillion dollar stock market. The decision was taken after the coronavirus test for two people came positive during the screenings set up earlier this week. This is one of the first occasions when Big Board’s trading floor was shut up independently even as electronic trading is being carried on for forex traders continuously.
The NYSE has already closed some of its facilities such as the NYSE equities trading floor, New York’s NYSE American Options trading floor as well as San Francisco’s NYSE Arca Options trading floor. It must be noted that both the entrants had been asked to stop at the screenings of the board. The stock trading market has been shut down many a times on several occasions such as World War II as well as during 9/11 attacks. However, this is one of the first occasions when the board’s trading floor has been closed independently even as electronic trading is fully functional.
A spokesperson at the NYSE stated that they have been taking many safety precautions since the past few weeks and even started conducting the pre-emptive tests of the employees as well as screening of people who entered the building. Even though those people have not entered the building after their tests came out positive, the board cleaned as well as addressed the matter before initiating trading. Even though extensive cleaning has rendered the stock exchange hygienic, the employees will still face risk if they commute to the exchange’s headquartered.
The New York Stock exchange, which is run and managed by the Intercontinental Exchange, was acquired by the group in 2012. The NYSE later moved into its present day location at the 18th Broad St. located in lower Manhattan in the year 1903. With the growth in electronic trading on the Wall Street, the NYSE gradually moved away from physical trading.
It must be noted that much of the equity trading at the NYSE, over the years has been completely electronic. Also, the NYSE has always maintained that the trading floor is still important, particularly at the time of closing and opening of trading. The board has also stated that it will never shut down even while the total count of traders has actually dwindled.
The Wall Street market has been witnessing an unprecedented volatility since the COVID crisis began. Earlier this week, the market witnessed a circuit breaker on two occasions by the New York Stock Exchange owing to a major sell-off that further resulted in trading halts that lasted for short periods.
At a time when almost all the exchanges have shut down physical trading, a number of people are wondering why the NYSE is still operating. But in a press release the exchange has clearly stated that it is will continue to the trade without any interruptions.