The London Metal Exchange's electronic trading platform, LME Select, now opens for trading six hours earlier, from 0100hrs London time to 1900hrs.
LME Select can currently be accessed from the United Kingdom and the United States of America and, following receipt of the necessary regulatory approvals, members will also be able to access Select from Singapore, Japan and the People's Republic of China provided members have obtained the relevant regulatory approvals in those jurisdictions. The Exchange is currently in the process of applying for authorisation from Australia and Hong Kong.
Commenting on the announcement, Simon Heale, LME Chief Executive said: 'The extension to LME Select began from 0100hrs as of 1 June. The Exchange and its members have been working hard to ensure that the service is up and running and we look forward to providing LME Select during valuable Asian trading hours.'
The Exchange had initially planned to extend the trading hours on LME Select from 1 March 2006 but was prevented from doing so by the imposition of an interim measures direction by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The OFT subsequently withdrew unconditionally, and in its entirety, the interim measures direction on 15 May 2006 leaving the LME free to extend the trading hours of LME Select.
The LME is the world's premier non-ferrous metals market. The LME turned over 78 million lots in 2005, which equates to around USD 4,500 billion dollars. Trading at the LME takes place through open outcry in 'the ring', through an inter-office telephone market and through LME Select.
The LME commenced trading in polypropylene and linear low-density polyethylene futures contracts on 27 May 2005.
The LME announced its intention to develop risk management tools for the steel industry in October 2005 and in May 2006 confirmed that it will work with Platts to publish references prices for steel. If the references prices gain acceptance with industry the LME will consider launching futures contracts, settled against the reference prices.