Does commodities floor trading have a future?

Once the beating heart of global energy markets, the Nymex trading floor now seems to be in its death throes. Alexander Osipovich asks how much longer open outcry has to live – and whether we should be sorry to see it go

Old-style desk calendar

It was only a few years ago that hundreds of traders were shouting, shoving and jockeying for position in the trading pits of the New York Mercantile Exchange, or Nymex, the world’s top marketplace for energy derivatives. But ever since Nymex introduced round-the-clock electronic trading in 2006 – a move bitterly resisted by floor traders – volumes have ebbed away from the pits to the screen. That has led pundits and market participants to repeatedly proclaim the death of the Nymex floor, whose

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