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18 Mar, 2020 21:20

New York Stock Exchange shuts down floor, goes fully electronic after traders test positive for coronavirus

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) will shut down its trading floor and temporarily switch to electronic transactions after several traders were confirmed to carry the coronavirus.
New York Stock Exchange shuts down floor, goes fully electronic after traders test positive for coronavirus

Starting next Monday, all exchanges will be managed electronically, but markets will continue to operate along normal trading hours, the exchange said.

“While we are taking the precautionary step of closing the trading floors, we continue to firmly believe the markets should remain open and accessible to investors,” NYSE president Stacey Cunningham said in a statement.

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The closure comes after a number of traders tested positive for the lethal pathogen, Cunningham told CNBC; however, she noted that none of the infected individuals had been on the trading floor this week.

“We implemented a number of safety precautions over the past couple of weeks, and starting on Monday this week we started pre-emptive testing of employees and screening of anyone who came into the building,” Cunningham went on. “A couple of those test cases have come back positive.”

As the coronavirus sweeps across more than 150 countries and burgeons into a global health crisis, world markets have taken a beating, with major indexes sent into convulsions in recent weeks, wiping out years of gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed over six percent down on Wednesday, shedding more than 1,300 points. The S&P 500 fell by five percent at the closing bell, while the tech-heavy NASDAQ saw a similar drop of 4.7 percent. Indexes across Europe and Asia – including in Russia, France, Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, and China – also saw significant losses.

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