CME to permanently close most trading pits

Most of the trading pits at CME Group, which closed last March due to the pandemic, won’t open again.

The Chicago-based derivatives exchange said today that it is permanently ending “open outcry” trading for all products other than Eurodollar options. That trading pit reopened last August and will continue to trade those options both in person and electronically, the company said.

CME closed its pits March 11, 2020, as the rest of white-collar America was beginning to work primarily from home. The options and futures trading platform had migrated mainly to electronic trading for most of its products before the pandemic hit.

At the time of the closure more than a year ago, CME said it would evaluate whether to close the pits permanently “as more medical guidance on the coronavirus becomes available.” Today’s release on the permanent closure was terse, and no explanation for the decision was provided.