LME opens floor trading in the "Ring

24 July 2021

Trading in the famous ring of the London Metal Exchange (LME), whose bright red sofas are the emblem of this largest metal exchange in the world, is to be resumed from 6 September.

The metal prices determined on call will then be valid as official prices again. The closing prices, however, will continue to be determined via an electronic platform. The Corona pandemic was the first time the ring was temporarily shut down in peacetime. Before that, the Ring only had to shut down during the Second World War, at that time along with the closure of the LME as a whole.

LME the only floor exchange in Europe

Of course, there are some in the metals business who question whether the ring might not remain permanently out of action. For some traders it is simply a relic from a bygone era in the 144-year history of the London Metal Exchange. However, the LME is determined to keep the ring in London's Finsbury Square open as the only floor exchange in Europe.

According to the LME, there was "a wide range of opinions on the subject of Ring prices and trading" in trader surveys. Based on this, the LME had decided to continue to support ring trading for the determination of official prices, while at the same time moving the determination of closing prices and trading permanently to its electronic platform.

The electronic determination of official prices had worked well during the pandemic period, the LME added. However, smaller physical participants, who are particularly focused on official prices at lunchtime, had expressed a desire for prices to be determined in the ring again. Therefore, the ring is to be reopened for trading from 6 September..