Shorter stock trading hours amid coronavirus? CME to Mnuchin: It 'makes no sense'

Cutting US trading hours amid coronavirus will harm not help investors says CME CEO Duffy

The CME, where investors can trade gold, oil, soybeans and a host of other asset classes, wants U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to know the exchange should be consulted on key market structure issues, such as potentially shortening U.S. trading hours amid the coronavirus. fueled historic volatility being seen throughout financial markets.

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TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
CMECME GROUP INC163.12-0.01-0.01%

“We were quite surprised to hear Secretary Mnuchin say he is coordinating with the New York Stock Exchange on possible shortened trading hours, even though he has not reached out to all-cash equity and futures markets including CME Group and Nasdaq.  Shorter hours make no sense...”

- CME Group Chairman and CEO Terry Duffy/statement 
TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
ICEINTERCONTINENTAL EXCHANGE INC.95.95+0.17+0.18%

Mnuchin, during the coronavirus task force update on Tuesday, said he is in contact with the NYSE, owned by the Intercontinental Exchange, as well as major banks and stressed that U.S. financial markets would remain open but hours could be trimmed.

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“We absolutely believe in keeping the markets open," said Mnuchin. "Americans need to know they have access to their money...We may get to a point where we shorten the hours if that is something they need to do."

FOX Business' inquiries to Mnuchin's office were not immediately returned.

Duffy oversees the CME, a global powerhouse that operates six days a week over 24 hours giving customers access to trade six asset classes. He argues that this global reach across time zones surpasses the NYSE and Nasdaq’s 9:30 a.m.-to-4 p.m. standard trading day.

“Financial markets are critical to managing risk and ensuring the resilience of the U.S. and global economies," the statement detailed. "Therefore, they must remain open, especially during this unprecedented crisis when news, information and events are changing at such a rapid pace.  Markets are global,  so shortening U.S. hours would not decrease volatility. Rather, it could actually increase as investors turn to other venues outside the U.S. when developments occur.”

The CME was the first exchange to close floor operations due to the coronavirus.

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Volatility, as measured by the CBOE VIX Index, also known as the fear gauge, hit a record high this week rising over a reading of 82 – surpassing levels hit during the 2008 financial crisis.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
CBOECBOE GLOBAL MARKETS86.68+1.10+1.29%

This as 1,000- to 3,000-point swings in the Dow have become the daily norm amid the bear market and as the Federal Reserve continues to shore up credit and liquidity facilities.

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As the coronavirus crisis rages on, the American public has been instructed in most cases to work from home and stay home for the next several days, at least, in efforts to reduce cases of the virus.

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