NYSE to reopen San Francisco-based options floor next Monday

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© Reuters. The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York © Reuters. The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York

By John McCrank

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The New York Stock Exchange said on Tuesday its NYSE Arca Options trading floor in San Francisco would partially reopen next Monday but its New York-based trading floors would remain closed for now, having been shut since March 23 due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Arca Options trading floor will operate with reduced personnel and additional safety precautions for exchange staff and floor traders, the NYSE, which is owned by Intercontinental Exchange Inc (N:), said in a traders’ alert.

“Upon reopening, NYSE Arca Options trading floor personnel will be required to follow enhanced safety protocols, which include, but are not limited to, compliance with the public health orders of the City and County of San Francisco,” the exchange operator said.

The NYSE held a conference call on April 22 with NYSE staff and the traders who work on its trading floors to discuss an eventual reopening, but did not set any dates, according to two people who were on the call.

The exchange plans to eventually reopen its New York-based trading floors in phases, monitoring everyone who enters 11 Wall Street for symptoms and ensuring that traders adhere to social-distancing guidelines, the people said.

New York City, home to some 8.4 million people, is the epicenter of the global pandemic. The number of known U.S. cases of the coronavirus passed 1 million on Tuesday, with about 30% of the cases coming from New York state.

Health officials from San Francisco County, along with five other Bay Area counties and the city of Berkeley, issued a statement late on Monday saying they would issue revised “shelter-in-place” orders that are set to expire on Sunday. The new orders will keep the restrictions in place and extend them through May, with limited easing for a small number of low-risk activities.

As a financial exchange operator, the NYSE is considered to provide an essential service and can reopen its trading floors when it wants, but it has taken a cautious approach after several traders and at least one ICE employee tested positive for the virus in March.

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