By John McCrank
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Exchange operator NYSE, which includes the New York Stock Exchange and is owned by Intercontinental Exchange Inc <ICE.N>, will end floor trading on its NYSE MKT exchange as part of a transition to a new technology platform.
After the action, expected in the second quarter, all trading on the NYSE MKT exchange, which lists and trades around 250 small-cap companies, will be automated, including opening, re-opening, and closing auctions, according to a regulatory filing.
An NYSE official was not immediately available for comment.
NYSE MKT, the former American Stock Exchange, or AMEX, was acquired by NYSE predecessor, NYSE Euronext, in 2008 for $260 million to help boost its options, exchange traded funds and cash equities businesses. NYSE closed the old Amex equities trading floor and moved it to the NYSE trading floor in 2009.
"Though all of our markets operate electronically using cutting edge, ultrafast technology, we believe nothing can take the place of human judgment and accountability," the NYSE website says about NYSE MKT's market model.
NYSE MKT's regulatory filing, however, says it will replace its floor-based Designated Market Makers (DMMs), who have obligations to maintain fair and orderly markets for specific securities, with electronic DMMs, which have similar obligations It also said it will no longer have floor brokers.
Floor trading on the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE Amex Options and NYSE Arca Options will not be affected.
NYSE MKT, known as the New York Curb Exchange until the 1950s, said it will expand the securities it trades to include all National Market System securities, including those listed on the NYSE, NYSE Arca, Nasdaq Inc <NDAQ.O>, and Bats Global Markets <BATS.Z>.
NYSE said in January 2015 it will implement a new trading technology platform, known as Pillar, that will connect all of its equities and options markets, including the NYSE, NYSE MKT, NYSE Arca Equities, NYSE Arca Options, and NYSE Amex Options.
(Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)