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A Guide to Trading Hours of the World’s Major Stock Exchanges

Trading Hours

By definition, a stock market exchange serves as a marketplace where investors can buy and sell stocks. It functions as a dedicated entity for proper trading and spreading information about the various companies listed on the exchange. 

The ‘stock market hours’ refer to the stock market timing when they are open and allow investors to trade shares. Nowadays, investors have access to stock exchanges globally and the opportunity to trade on different stock markets throughout the day. 

Generally, trading on the stock market is conducted from Monday to Friday. One exception is the Saudi stock market which opens from Sunday to Thursday. Some stock markets in Asia also close for a lunch break. The London Stock Exchange closes for two minutes at noon daily. 

It is important to be well-informed about the stock market hours of various exchanges even if one is not involved in global trading. It allows investors to make informed decisions and evaluate the impact of global events on domestic markets. 

The stock market timings are based on the time zone of each country, making it difficult to trade in global markets. In this blog, we will shed light on what time the stock market opens and when the market closes along with the timings of major stock exchanges in the world. 

Stock Market Trading Hours

The stock market opening times differ from region to region. It primarily depends on the local working hours and the culture of a particular country. While most stock exchanges conduct trade from Monday to Friday, the Saudi market functions from Sunday to Thursday. Meanwhile, the Tehran Stock Exchange operates from Sunday to Wednesday. 

While lunch breaks are not common in the stock markets of North America and Europe, some stock markets, specifically the ones in Asia close for a lunch break. Generally, stock market exchanges are also closed on public holidays, which also depends on the country. 

Why Do Stock Exchanges Have Varied Trading Hours?

The stock market opening times vary by country to allow a large concentration of traders, both local and international to participate in trading. By having set hours for trading, the stock market ensures concentrated liquidity between the opening and closing, instead of spread out trades happening throughout the day. 

If you make a trade outside the trading hours, it will be added to a queue that will be executed once the market opens again. However, it is not recommended to indulge in trading during closing hours as your trade may experience ‘slippage’ from when it was ordered to when it was executed. 

It is possible that the price of the trade may change throughout the day and be different at the stock market opening time. 

Trading Hours on Holidays

As mentioned above, holidays depend on the local public calendar, meaning they are different for every region. As for North America, the New York Stock Exchange(NYSE) closes on the Fourth of July for the U.S. Independence Day. 

The Singapore Stock Exchange closes in February for the Chinese New Year. 

Moreover, some stock market exchanges also close for half a day occasionally. For instance, the New York Stock Exchange is only open till 1 PM on Christmas Eve. Every exchange posts its annual calendars and public holidays in advance. 

Trading Hours in North America

Trading in the North American region is typically based on the Eastern time zone irrespective of where the exchange is located. The only exception is the Mexican Stock Exchange(BMV) which operates in Central time but adjusts its hours to match the hours of the New York Stock Exchange. 

In North America, the headquarters of the major stock market exchanges are located in New York City, Toronto, and Mexico City, with Mexico City being the westernmost time zone. As a result, the Mexico exchange trades within business hours of the Central Standard Time(CST) but matches its hours with the NYSE, so trade is basically open during the same time frame. 

Name MarketplaceRankingTime ZoneTrading HoursLunch Break
New York Stock Exchange(NYSE)New York, United States1EDT9:30 AM to 4:00 PMNO
NASDAQ Stock MarketNew York, United States2EDT9:30 AM to 4:00 PMNO
Toronto Stock Exchange(TSX)Toronto, Canada10EDT9:30 AM to 4:00 PMNO

Source: TradingHours.com

North America houses two of the largest stock exchanges in the world- the NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange(NYSE). Both of these exchanges offer after-hours trading between 4 PM to 8 PM, meaning trades can still be executed by electronic communication networks after the exchange has closed for the day. By extending their stock market opening times, the NASDAQ and NYSE ensure a high number of trades being processed every day. 

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Trading Hours in Asia and the Middle East

Asia being the largest continent has 11 different time zones across itself and its neighbours. Fortunately, they match their stock market opening hours for the sake of trade and liquidity. The Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong stock exchanges all open at GMT +8. Shanghai and Shenzhen are open from 1:30 AM to 7 AM(GMT). Meanwhile, the Tokyo Stock Exchange operates from 1:30 AM to 8 AM(GMT). 

Unlike the stock markets in the West, many exchanges in Asia stop for lunch and these lunch breaks also differ in length. For instance, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange has a lunch break of half an hour from 12:30 PM to 1 PM (Local Time). Meanwhile, the Shanghai Stock Exchange has a lunch break of one and a half hours from 11:30 AM to 1 PM(Local Time) every business day. 

When it comes to the stock market exchanges in the Middle East, the trading hours vary from market to market. For example- the Tadawul aka the Saudi Stock Exchange opens from 10 AM to 3 PM (Local Time), which is 7 AM to 12 PM(GMT) from Sunday to Thursday. In Saudi Arabia, the weekend is from Friday to Saturday, making Tadawul one of the few stock exchanges to operate on a Sunday. 

Another popular stock exchange in the Middle East is the Tehran Stock Exchange. It opens from 5:30 AM to 9 AM(GMT), which is 9 AM to 12:30 PM(Local Time) from Saturday to Wednesday. The weekend in Iran runs from Thursday to Friday, instead of Saturday and Sunday. 

Name MarketplaceRankingTime ZoneTrading HoursLunch Break
Shanghai Stock Exchange(SSE)Shanghai, China3CST9:30 AM to 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Tokyo Stock ExchangeTokyo, Japan4JST9:00 AM to 11:30 AM and 12:30 PM to 3:00 PM11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Shenzhen Stock Exchange(SZSE)Shenzhen, China5CST9:30 AM to 11:30 AM and 1:00 PM to 2:57 PM11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Stock Exchange of Hong Kong(SEHK)Hong Kong6HKT9:30 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM12:00 AM to 1:00 PM
National Stock Exchange of India(NSE)Mumbai, India8IST9:15 AM to 3:30 PMNO
Saudi Stock ExchangeRiyadh, Saudi Arabia11AST10 AM to 3 PMNO
BSE LimitedMumbai, India12IST9:15 AM to 3:30 PMNO
Korea Exchange(KRX)Seoul, South Korea14KST9 AM to 3:30 PMNO
Taiwan Stock Exchange(TWSE)Taipei, Taiwan15CST9:15 AM to 1:30 PMNO

Source: TradingHours.com

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Trading Hours in Europe and the U.K

Like Asia, Europe is home to many stock exchanges. The Euronext Stock Exchange is the largest in Europe with branches in Paris, Lisbon, Amsterdam, and other cities. It operates in seven countries and is headquartered in Amsterdam. The stock market opening and closing times for all the Euronext exchanges are similar. They operate from 8 AM to 4:30 PM(GMT) from Monday to Friday. However, since the hours are fixed in every location, the local time difference varies. 

For example- the Paris Stock Exchange is open from 9 AM to 5:30 PM(Local Time) whereas the Lisbon Stock Exchange opens at 8 AM and closes at 4:30 PM(Local Time). None of the Euronext Exchanges stop for a lunch break. 

London Stock Exchange is another prominent stock market in Europe, which is also one of the largest exchanges in the world. The LSE opens at 8 AM and closes at 4:30 PM(Local Time). It is closed on public holidays. 

Name MarketplaceRankingTime ZoneTrading HoursLunch Break
London Stock ExchangeLondon, United Kingdom7BST8:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 12:02 PM to 4:30 PM12:00 PM. to 12:02 PM
Frankfurt Stock ExchangeFrankfurt, Germany9CEST9:00 AM to 5:30 PMNO
SIX Swiss ExchangeZurich, Switzerland13CEST9:00 AM to 5:20 PMNO
Euronext AmsterdamAmsterdam, Netherlands19CEST9:00 AM to 5:30 PMNO
NASDAQ Stockholm ABStockholm, Sweden20CEST9:00 AM to 5:25 PMNO

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Trading Hours in South America

The Sao Paulo Stock Exchange in Brazil is the largest exchange in South America. It trades two hours ahead of the New York Stock Exchange and follows much of the same rules as the NYSE. Stocks, commodities, options, along with other instruments are traded on the Sao Paulo Stock Exchange. 

Name MarketplaceRankingTime ZoneTrading HoursLunch Break
B3 S.A.Sao Paulo, Brazil18BRT10 AM to 5:55 PMNO

Trading Hours in Africa

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange is the largest exchange in Africa. Some of the smaller exchanges are located in Egypt, Nigeria, and Mauritius. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange has acquired the South Africa Futures Exchange and the Bond Exchange of South Africa. As a result, all of those assets are traded on this stock exchange. 

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange opens at 9 AM and closes at 5 PM(South African Standard Time), with no lunch breaks. This particular exchange opens six and a half hours before the NYSE. 

Name MarketplaceRankingTime ZoneTrading HoursLunch Break
Johannesburg Stock Exchange(JSE)Johannesburg, South Africa17SAST9 AM to 5 PMNO
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Trading Hours in Australia and Oceania

The largest stock exchange in Oceania is the Syndey-based Australian Securities Exchange(ASX). The stock market trading hours for the ASX are from 10 AM to 4 PM(Local Time), which is 12 AM to 6 AM(GMT), from Monday to Friday. 

Similar to most stock market exchanges outside of Asia, the ASX doesn’t close for lunch breaks.

Another popular stock market exchange in Oceania is the New Zealand Stock Exchange(NZSX), which is open from 10 AM to 4:45 PM(Local Time), which is 10 PM to 5 AM(GMT). Just like ASX, the NZSX also doesn’t close for lunch breaks. 

Name MarketplaceRankingTime ZoneTrading HoursLunch Break
Australian Securities Exchange(ASX)Sydney, Australia16AEDT10 AM to 4 PMNO

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Key Takeaways

  • Most of the world’s top stock market exchanges are open during regular business hours, in local time.
  • Trades performed with an online broker outside exchange hours are executed at the next opening day unless otherwise indicated.
  • All North American stock exchanges closely match New York’s time frame for the convenience of traders. 
  • All stock exchanges publish an annual calendar in advance which lists their scheduled holidays and half days. 
  • American investors can buy and sell stocks on most foreign exchanges through an online broker. 
  • An alternative for investors trading in foreign stocks is American Depository Receipts(ADRs), which trade on the U.S. stock exchange. 
  • The Shanghai Stock Exchange has 18 public holidays in a year, including the five-day hiatus for the Chinese New Year. 
  • The world’s first public stock market was established in Amsterdam in 1611. It only offered shares in the Dutch East Indies Co. 

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

Q. What’s the difference between a stock market and a stock exchange?

Ans. A stock exchange is a marketplace that facilitates equity and securities trading. It may be founded and managed by a public or private corporation. Companies list their stocks in the stock exchange marketplace. 
On the other hand, the term stock market refers to all stocks or a group of stocks in a particular region or industry. 

Q. Which Stock Market Exchanges are Closed for Lunch Breaks?

Ans. The major stock exchanges that are officially closed for lunch include the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE), the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE/TYO), the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE), and the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK). 

The London Stock Exchange(LSE) is closed for a two-minute break at noon. This break is designed to protect accredited investors and institutional traders from high-frequency traders whose split-second transactions can alter prices.

Q. What time does the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ open?

Ans. The New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ are open at the same hours, from 9:30 AM to 4 PM (Eastern Time). Both publish annual calendars of their holidays and half days.