LONDON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – The London Metal Exchange (LME) launched on Wednesday a consultation to trial in the first quarter of next year the use of its electronic system to determine closing prices of the three-month nickel contract instead of open outcry. The exchange, the world’s oldest and largest market for industrial metals, also said in a statement it would consult members and stakeholders about launching eight new cash-settled futures contracts from January 2019. New contracts will include three regional hot-rolled coil steel contracts for North America, Northern Europe and FOB China, two aluminium premium contracts for the U.S. and Europe, alumina, cobalt and molybdenum. “Following demand from its precious metals community, the LME aims to launch LMEprecious options towards the end of 2018,” the exchange said. “Responses to all proposals should be received by close of business on 28 September 2018, with any resultant rule changes expected to take effect from the fourth quarter of 2018.” The LME is owned by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd.