JERSEY CITY, NJ (HedgeWorld.com)–BrokerTec Futures Exchange LLC announced that it will suspend trading operations at the close of business on Wednesday, Nov. 26–the beginning of the holiday weekend.

BrokerTec will permit trading until that time only for the purpose of liquidating open positions, and it has delisted all contracts other than those maturing in December 2003, effective Thursday, Nov. 13, the company announced Wednesday.

“We could otherwise have been in the very awkward position of having firms with open positions and no way to get out of them,” said company spokesman Douglas Harris. Trading volume has dropped off substantially over a period of months, and the company’s existing arrangements with its market makers terminate at the end of November.

“We couldn’t necessarily ensure orderly trading” if the company tried to continue the operations of the exchange beyond that time, Mr. Harris said. He added that he could not say whether the suspension is temporary–the company’s board has made no final decision on future operations.

BrokerTec Futures formerly was affiliated with BrokerTec USA LLC and BrokerTec Europe Ltd. But ICAP plc, London, acquired the other BrokerTec businesses this spring. “We’re completely different companies, with different ownership. We [BrokerTec Futures] still have a diverse ownership,” Mr. Harris said.

BrokerTec Futures is, or perhaps was, the United States’ only fully electronic fixed-income futures exchange.

CFaille@HedgeWorld.com