Oil to S&P Index Futures Trade Delayed by CME for ‘Leap Second’

CME Group Inc., home to benchmark oil and equity index futures, delayed the open of its Globex market trading platform for July 1 to account for the leap second.

Pre-market trading will start at 8:30 p.m. New York time on June 30, with normal trading to begin 15 minutes later for July 1 transactions, according to a statement on the CME website. The leap second, added to international clocks to account for a slowing planet, was scheduled for 8 p.m., just as stock exchanges in Asia opened.

Globex is the bourse’s electronic trading platform for futures and options across markets including West Texas Intermediate oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold contracts on the Comex, wheat on the Chicago Board of Trade and U.S. equity index futures.

The leap second is the first time anomaly of its kind to occur during trading hours since markets went electronic. Human timekeeping has been independent of the earth’s rotation since 1967 and scientists have had to add a second every few years to account for a slowing of the planet. The last time was in 2012.

To lessen any possible impact, NYSE Arca Equities said evening trading would close five minutes early. Nasdaq stopped trading at 7:48 p.m. New York time and shut down at 7:55 p.m. Intercontinental Exchange Inc. said it’s delaying all market transitions.

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