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CME Group Sets Date to Reopen Eurodollar Options Trading Pit

By Eric Volkman – Jun 15, 2020 at 11:04AM

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In August, traders will once again be screaming and signalling their business at the Chicago facility.

Securities exchange operator CME Group (CME -2.37%) is making plans to reopen one of its busiest live trading floors: The company announced last week that activity will resume at its Eurodollar options trading pit on Aug. 10. That trading pit, along with CME's others in Chicago, was shut down in March in response to the spreading COVID-19 pandemic.

The Eurodollar market, as the name implies, comprises the U.S. dollar deposits held in countries abroad -- originally, the bulk of these were located in Europe, although the market has since broadened. CME does a brisk business in derivatives tied to this market.

Two financial traders at work.

Image source: Getty Images.

The company said it will take a number of precautions to safeguard the health and well-being of traders working the pit, which is to be reconfigured. CME hasn't yet said what these measures will entail, but promised that details are forthcoming. It did add that traders and other floor workers will be required to sign waivers stating that they are aware of, and accept, the risks that live, open-outcry markets pose in the current pandemic.

In the press release announcing the reopening of the Eurodollar pit, CME said that it will keep monitoring the situation, and will announce any changes to its operations if they are needed.

It plans to keep its other trading pits closed until Chicago and Illinois enter Phase 5 (the final phase) of their reopening plans. At the moment, the Midwestern city is still in Phase 3, dubbed "Cautiously Reopen."

On Friday, CME's shares inched up slightly, closing 0.3% higher. That lagged behind the gains of both the broader equities market, and numerous financial sector stocks.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends CME Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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