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City of London

London’s Place at Heart of Metals Trade Is Still at Risk

Investors angry at how the London Metal Exchange handled the nickel squeeze continue to question its status in metal markets.

Traders, brokers and clerks on the trading floor of the open outcry pit at the London Metal Exchange.

Traders, brokers and clerks on the trading floor of the open outcry pit at the London Metal Exchange.

Photographer: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

The immediate anger toward how the London Metal Exchange handled the nickel squeeze is not fading. It continues to threaten the LME's status as the home of global benchmark prices for the world’s key industrial metals. Back in March, the LME allowed prices to soar 250% in less than two days, then retroactively cancelled $3.9 billion in trades. Citadel CEO Ken Griffin called it “one of the worst days in my professional career in terms of watching the behavior of an exchange.” Months later, the LME is dealing with a raft of investigations and lawsuits, and the nickel market is still reeling.

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