Timing Is Everything: A Guide To Stock Trading Hours

Following the trading hours of a single stock exchange is no problem. But for international investors who have to keep track of multiple bourses, keeping tabs of schedules could be challenging especially when dealing with time-sensitive decisions. 

Take Asia, for example. Across the region, there are 11 time zones. This may not really be a problem for long-time investors but definitely another challenge for some traders old and new. 

Stock markets around the world generally trade from Monday through Friday except for the Saudi Stock Exchange, which is open from Sunday to Thursday. In terms of time zones, they generally follow that of where they are based for the convenience of investors. 

Trading hours are usually regular working hours regardless of where the bourse is. For guidance regarding holidays and scheduled half-days, exchanges around the world also publish annual calendars to ensure investors are informed ahead of time. 

Trading Hours Around the World

For the convenience of traders, exchanges in North America closely match New York time. The headquarters of trading exchanges in the region are in New York City, Toronto and Mexico City. The New York Stock Exchange is open between 9:30AM to 4:00PM. The Nasdaq Stock Market and the Toronto Stock Exchange also follow the same trading hours and all three bourses do not have lunch breaks. 

For the Brazilian marketplace in South America, trading starts 10:00AM and closes 4:55PM, with lunch break. 

As previously mentioned, there are 11 time zones across Asia. Fortunately, exchange hours in the region have been synchronized for the sake of trade and liquidity. 

The Shanghai and Shenzhen bourses open 9:00AM and close exactly at 3:00PM for Shanghai and 2:57PM for Shenzhen. Both bourses have an hour-and-a-half lunch breaks from 12:30PM. Meanwhile, the Taiwan stock exchange opens 9:00AM and closes 1:25PM without any lunch break. 

Trading on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange begins 9:30AM until 4:00PM with an hour for lunch break starting 12:00AM. For the Tokyo bourse, trading starts 9:00AM until 3:00PM with an hour for lunch break beginning 10:30PM. 

Both the National Stock Exchange of India and the BSE open 9:15AM and close 3:30AM. The Saudi Stock Exchange trades from 10:00AM to 3:00PM, the South Korea Exchange from 9:00AM to 3:30PM and the Australian Securities Exchange from 10:00AM to 4:00PM. All these bourses do not have lunch breaks. 

The London bourse is open between 8:00AM and 4:30PM with a two-minute noon break. For the SIX Swiss Exchange, Euronext Amsterdam, and Nasdaq Stockholm, trading begins 9:00AM and closes 5:20PM, 5:25PM, and 5:30PM, respectively  

In Africa, the Johannesburg stock exchange commences trading 9:00AM until 5:00PM without lunch break. 

Trading Before and After Hours 

The adoption of new technology and increased demand for trading paved the way for pre-market and after-hours trading. 

Traders look for opportunities to get ahead of the market in pre-market trading. Especially if reports are being released during the trading day, traders can place orders to capitalize on these opportunities. After-hours trading works similarly but as the name suggests, the trading is done after the markets closed. 

One area of concern for trading pre-market and after hours is that there is not much liquidity or trade volume due to a limited number of traders. However, during these hours, stock prices function the way they do during trading hours.

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