By John McCrank
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Nasdaq Inc said it postponed Monday’s planned reopening of its PHLX options trading floor in Philadelphia, which had been closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, due to the demonstrations over the death of a black man, George Floyd, in police custody.
“As the current situation with demonstrations in the city of Philadelphia has escalated significantly, Nasdaq has decided to postpone the reopening of the PHLX Trading Floor, which was scheduled for Monday, June 1, 2020,” the exchange operator said in an alert to traders.
Nasdaq said it would revisit the decision on a daily basis.
National Guard troops were deployed in 15 states and Washington, D.C. in an attempt to quell a sixth night of violence on Sunday. The unrest began with peaceful protests over the death of a black man, George Floyd, in police custody.
Video footage showed a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of Floyd, 46, for nearly nine minutes before he died on May 25.
“It is impossible to see and read about George Floyd in Minnesota and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, and the far too many events that have occurred, without feeling a sense of shock, anger, and grief,” Nasdaq Chief Executive Officer Adena Friedman said in a message to her staff, later shared on LinkedIn.
Nasdaq’s PHLX options trading floor in Philadelphia has been closed since March 17, 2020, with only electronic trading allowed, to prevent the potential spread of the coronavirus.
(Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)