Jefferies quits London Metal Exchange open outcry floor

Exit Sign

Jefferies Bache is to quit its presence on the London Metal Exchange's open outcry floor as it shifts its membership to category two or broker clearing member of the exchange, the LME said on Monday.

Reuters reports that Jefferies' change in status takes effect immediately, the LME said in a notice to members. Broker clearers have the same abilities as floor dealers, being able to trade via electronic platforms and telephone markets as well as being clearing house members but without maintaining a presence on the floor.

Bloomberg News reports that the change leaves 10 companies including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Societe Generale SA entitled to trade on the LME floor, known as the ring.

Transactions taking place in the ring account for about 5 percent of volume, excluding phone trades that are based on ring prices, according to the exchange. Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. pledged to maintain floor trading until at least January 2015 when it bought the LME last year.

'The ring is clearly struggling', said Wiktor Bielski, an analyst at VTB Capital in London with more than 30 years of experience in metals and mining. 'In the old days, ring-dealing membership was highly sought after. Now, with screen-based trading having taken over so much, you’ve got to think that unless you are really 100 percent committed to physical, it’s hard to justify paying the fees'.

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