August 12, 2019 / 1:57 PM / a month ago

LME to extend open outcry trading times starting September 23

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the London Metal Exchange, in London, Britain September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

LONDON (Reuters) - The London Metal Exchange (LME) will extend its final open-outcry trading sessions for all metals starting Sept. 23 after volumes jumped during a trial, it said in a statement on Monday.

The 142-year-old exchange said the move to permanently double open-outcry trading times to 10 minutes for final or “kerb” rings followed a successful three-month trial for zinc, confirming a Reuters report last week.

The LME, the world’s oldest and largest market for industrial metals, said during the trial average daily volumes in the ring increased by 57% compared to the period before the trial.

“The LME believes that the longer PM kerb period for zinc has provided market participants who use the ring with more time to place orders and then to react to price moves,” the statement said.

The ring at the LME, owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd., is the last open-outcry trading venue in Europe. In a circle of padded, red-leather seats, traders use arcane hand signals in five-minute bursts of intense trading.

Other exchanges have scrapped open-outcry activity and shifted to electronic trading, prompting predictions that the LME would follow suit.

But the successful trial and extension of ring trading times shows floor trading has the potential to continue at the LME for longer than some had expected, industry sources have said.

Participants can trade on the LME through ring trading, an electronic system or over the telephone.

Reporting by Eric Onstad, editing by Deepa Babington and Kirsten Donovan

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