The New York stock exchange on March 18 announced that it will be shutting down from the trading floor as a ‘precautionary’ measure against the coronavirus. However, electronic trading will continue. The floor will close from March 23, as it provides a few days to prepare for the transition to fully electronic trading.
According to reports, the decision to close the trading floor comes after a member of the trading floor community and an employee of the stock exchange tested positive for coronavirus on March 16. Both individuals had last entered the stock exchange on March 16 and the very next day the stock exchange was sanitized.
According to reports, trading officials have vehemently argued against closing down trading activities entirely and have claimed that this move will not affect the market’s ability to function. Over the stock market has closed at times, it had closed during World War II and in the wake of 9/11. But this will be the first time that the trading floor will be shut independently while electronic trading continues.
As per reports, Stacey Cunningham, President of the NYSE has said that the stock exchange had implemented a number of pre-emptive measures such as testing employees and screening of all those entering the building. Cunningham added that if the screenings warranted additional testing then the people were tested further and sent home, they were reportedly not allowed access to the building. A few of the tests the NYSE preformed came back positive.
The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has claimed more than 8,960 lives across the world and has infected over 2,19,332 people globally since it first broke out in December 2019. China is the most affected country in the world as experts believe that the virus originated from a seafood market in Wuhan city, the epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally. Italy and Iran are the other countries that are most affected by the virus outbreak.