The Wall Street Journal: Nymex consigns open-outcry pit trading to the history books

The open-outcry trading floor of the New York Mercantile Exchange in lower Manhattan will shut down after markets close Friday, the latest step in the inexorable shift toward electronic trading.

‘It was like going to the Super Bowl every day for work.’

CME Group Inc., which owns the Nymex, said in April that the New York trading floor would close at the end of the year after the share of options volume executed there had dwindled to just 0.3% of the company’s overall energy and metals volumes. Chicago-based CME CME, -0.21% had already stopped futures trading on the Nymex floor last year.

Though long expected, the closure of the 25,000-square-foot Nymex floor has instilled nostalgia in traders who remember its heyday, when more than 1,000 people crowded into its pits to shout, jockey for position and arrange trades through an arcane language of hand signals.

“It was like going to the Super Bowl every day for work,” said David Greenberg, a former Nymex board member and veteran of the crude oil and gold pits.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.

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