The New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) is closing its open outcry trading floor in London and switching to an all-electronic operation.
Nymex Europe moved its trading floor from Dublin to London last September but has struggled to compete against the electronic IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) in trading of Brent crude oil contracts.
In a statement, the US exchange says its open outcry trading floor in London will close on 9 June.
According to press reports the London floor cost at least $20.2 million to establish last year but has since failed to capture more than one per cent of Brent trading compared with ICE.
Nymex Europe says Brent and gasoil contracts will begin trading electronically on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange's Globex platform as of 12 June.
In a separate move, Nymex is reported to be mulling an alliance with TSX Group, the owner of the Toronto Stock Exchange, and is considering acquiring TSX's Natural Gas Exchange.
According to a Wall Street Journal report, which cites people familiar with the matter, Nymex is considering offering TSX 10% of its equity for full control of Calgary's Natural Gas Exchange in a deal valued at around $150 million.
The deal could also see Nymex and TSX jointly offering commodities equities and futures via a single electronic trading screen, says the report. The move could make Nymex and TSX the first of the North American exchanges to integrate futures and stocks in one system.