Futures Shock Are trading floors obsolete?

A new system quickens the race toward a global electronic market

With their flashing boards and shouting traders, the frenzied floor pits of the world's stock and commodities exchanges are a symbol of the human side of the financial marketplace. But they are fast becoming a quaint anachronism. The British and French stock markets are completely computerized, the Toronto exchange plans to shut down its trading floor by the end of the year, and the Japanese, Koreans and Germans are rapidly moving in that direction. Now comes one of the biggest steps toward a global computerized marketplace: this week Reuters and the two major Chicago commodities exchanges plan to launch a system...

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