LME to move trading floor to new premises on February 1

Traders and clerks react on the floor of the London Metal Exchange in the City of London February 14, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LONDON (Reuters) - The London Metal Exchange (LME) will move its open outcry trading floor to its new home in London’s financial district on Feb. 1, the exchange said on Thursday.

The 138-year-old LME, the only financial exchange to maintain open outcry trading in Europe, said in January it was consolidating all its functions in the new location - Finsbury Square - but had not announced the exact dates of the move.

The LME, the world’s biggest market for base metals such as copper and aluminium, said in a statement it would conclude trading at its current offices on Leadenhall Street, also in the City of London financial district, on Jan. 27.

For the next two working days, trading will take place at the LME’s disaster recovery site in Chelmsford, east of London, before trading is launched at the new premises, it said.

The LME, owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd 0833.HK, said it would gradually move its employees to the new building in stages during December and January.

In 1877, the merchants that formed the LME established their first premises over a hat shop in Lombard Court in the City of London. It has been at Leadenhall Street since 1994.

Reporting by Eric Onstad. Editing by Jane Merriman