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Stock market hours refer to the trading hours of stock exchanges – the specific periods when stocks and securities can be bought and sold. Most major stock exchanges around the world have set hours for trading activity on weekdays.
Understanding the different stock market hours and schedules can help investors plan their day and identify the best times for trading stocks based on their location, trading style, and investment goals.
The two largest stock exchanges in the United States are the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq Stock Market. Both operate under Eastern Standard Time (EST).
The regular trading session for both the NYSE and Nasdaq is 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM EST from Monday through Friday. This amounts to around 6.5 hours per day of trading activity. Stocks cannot be traded outside of these hours on these major exchanges.
There are also pre-market trading hours from 4:00 AM to 9:30 AM EST and after-hours trading from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST during weekdays on electronic communication networks (ECNs). These are known as the extended trading sessions. Certain brokers allow account holders to trade during these periods.
The NYSE and Nasdaq close for ten federal US holidays per calendar year:
On days before certain holidays, the exchanges sometimes close early, at 1:00 PM EST. This includes Independence Day and Christmas Eve, when those days fall on weekdays.
The London Stock Exchange (LSE) in the United Kingdom has regular market hours from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on weekdays.
During Daylight Saving Time from late March through October, the UK switches to British Summer Time (BST), which is one hour ahead of GMT.
So, during half the year, LSE trading hours go from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM local UK time. The LSE has an official lunch break each weekday from 12:00 PM to 12:02 PM local UK time. Trading is halted during this break.
In addition, the LSE is closed during all these UK public holidays:
Trading hours are reduced on Christmas Eve (closes at 12:30 PM) and New Year’s Eve (closes at 12:30 PM).
Many major Asian stock exchanges have a midday break in trading, unlike Western stock markets. For example:
Each exchange in Asia observes that country’s public holidays and may have reduced trading hours around those holidays.
The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) has trading hours from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM EST throughout the regular work week. This is the same schedule followed by the major US stock exchanges.
The TSX is closed during the following Canadian national holidays:
Trading ends early at 1:00 PM EST on Christmas Eve and Canada Day (when July 1 falls on a weekday).
The pan-European Euronext Stock Exchange is open for trading from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM Central European Time (CET) from Monday to Friday.
Trading on the Euronext closes for lunch between 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM CET each weekday.
In addition, the Euronext observes the following European public holidays:
After-hours trading refers to buying and selling securities when the major stock exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq are officially closed. Brokerages allow clients to trade outside regular hours through electronic communication networks (ECNs).
After-hours trading sessions generally run from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST on weekdays for US exchanges. There is also pre-market trading from 4:00 AM to 9:30 AM before the exchanges open. Combined, they are known as extended-hours trading.
After-hours trading provides investors more flexibility on when they can trade. These extended sessions allow market participants to react instantly to major announcements that occur outside regular hours. However, liquidity and volatility risks are higher compared to the regular session.
While most brokerages enable after-hours trades, some only allow selling and limit the types of orders that can be placed during extended hours due to the risks involved. Investors should always check with their broker what their specific policies are concerning these extended sessions.
Here is a summary of some of the major stock exchanges around the world with their regular weekday opening and closing times:
Understanding the trading hours of the world’s major stock exchanges can help investors seek new trading opportunities in international markets. Paying attention to time zone differences allows market participants to trade stocks effectively based on news and events happening abroad as well.
No, the major stock exchanges around the world have set trading hours on weekdays and are closed on weekends and holidays. Only certain futures and forex markets are open 24 hours daily. The cryptocurrency market is also open 24 hours a day throughout the entire year as trading is enabled by the blockchain.
The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq in the United States run on Eastern Standard Time (EST). The same goes for Canadian exchanges like the TSX. Major Asian and European stock markets operate on their own local time zones.
Regular stock trading ceases overnight when the exchanges close. However, many brokers support extended-session trading outside regular market hours through electronic networks. After-hours trading typically runs from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST on weekdays.
Stock exchanges need to close to allow time for the underlying trade settlement process to be completed. Closures overnight and on weekends give public companies time to file regulatory disclosures and make announcements after major news.The operating hours for global stock trading vary by exchange and local time zone. However, knowing the general schedules of each region can help investors who are interested in trading international stocks and equities to participate in the markets.
Techopedia’s editorial policy is centered on delivering thoroughly researched, accurate, and unbiased content. We uphold strict sourcing standards, and each page undergoes diligent review by our team of top technology experts and seasoned editors. This process ensures the integrity, relevance, and value of our content for our readers.
Alejandro has seven years of experience writing content for the financial industry and more than 17 years of combined work experience, serving under different roles in multiple business fields including tech and financial services. Before joining Techopedia, Alejandro collaborated with numerous online publications such as Seeking Alpha, The Modest Wallet, Capital.com, Business2Community, EconomyWatch.com, and others, covering finance, business news, trading platform reviews, and educational articles for investors. Alejandro earned a Bachelor's in Business Administration from UNITEC, Venezuela, and a Master's in Corporate Finance from EUDE Business School, Spain. His favorite topics to cover are value investing and financial analysis.
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