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Stock market trading hours across the world

September 20, 2019
by Nick Alexander, Market Analyst

Article Recap

With more than 24 time zones across the globe, financial markets can be trading at any given time.

Stock market exchanges are where stocks and financial assets are traded throughout the day. The main stock exchanges around the world include the London Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange.

With more than 24 time zones across the world, financial markets can be trading at any given time. Once the Australian and Asian markets are closed, a new session starts as the United States and Europe prepare to open. Most markets only operate on normal trading hours, on weekdays while some markets offer pre-market and after-hours trading.

How do Stock Exchanges Work? 

Various financial instruments are all traded on the stock exchange such as stocks, derivatives and commodities among others. The role of an exchange is to provide investors and traders with fair trading experience. Trading normally takes place between Monday and Friday. In order to access the financial markets you will need to have a trading account with a broker. 

Why do stock exchanges have different trading hours?

Stock markets are open according to the country’s relevant timezone, during the country’s markets hours it will have a high level of its own residents trading as well as international market participants. Having certain market hours will ensure that there is a high level of liquidity for each market. 

What happens if you place a trade outside of market hours? 

If you do place a trade outside of market hours then the order will be added to a queue, once the market opens then the order will be executed. It is important to note, that if this does happen then the trader can experience slippage from when they first placed the order to when it was actually executed. 

Australia

The Australian stock exchange (ASX) is based in Sydney and operates normal trading hours between 10am-4pm Australian eastern standard or daylight time. Pre-opening takes place between 7am-10am, where brokers can enter orders into the ASX Trade in preparation for the market opening. In this time, investors can also enter orders on-line, which are queued and traded upon opening. Overnight trading refers to trading during the ‘adjust phase’ between 4:12pm-5pm, where brokers can cancel or amend orders, etc. New orders are not taken at this time.

United States

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Nasdaq operate its core trading hours between 9:30am-4pm U.S. eastern time. This is after midnight in Sydney, Australia. Orders on the NYSE can be entered during a pre-opening session between 6:30am-9:30am U.S. eastern time. The Nasdaq opening schedule is earlier, with pre-market trading beginning at 4:00am U.S. eastern time, exactly midnight in Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane Standard Time.

Europe

The London Stock Exchange has slightly longer trading hours, operating between 8:00am-4:30pm. During Australian Daylight-Saving Time, London is 11-hours behind Sydney. Therefore, the London session kicks off at 7pm AEST.

The Euronext Paris Stock Exchange and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Xetra) are open between 09:00am-5:30pm. France and Germany are an hour ahead of London, due to different time zones.

Asia

The Tokyo Stock Exchange (TYO) in Japan is the biggest stock exchange in Asia, and home to the Nikkei 225. The TYO is open between 9:00am-3:00pm on weekdays with a lunch break between 11:30am-12:30pm. Most stock markets in Asia close for lunch whilst the rest of the world continuously trades between from the opening bell to the closing bell.

The Hang Seng Index trades on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEKH). This exchange opens between 9:30am-4:00pm with a 90-minute lunch break between midday to 1:30pm. There’s a pre-opening session between 9:00am-9:30am and a closing auction session between 4:00pm-4:10pm.

In Shanghai, the Composite Index trades on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The exchange is open Monday to Friday, between 9:30am-3:00pm with a 90-minute lunch break between 11:30am-1:00pm. The Shenzhen Stock Exchange is China’s second independently-operated exchange, trading the same hours as the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Platform time

Platform time is the real time trading platforms are set in, including the software’s charts and data.

Eightcap clients have access to MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and all clients trade under the same platform time. The platforms are set to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) + 2 hours.

Clients cannot change or alter the platform time on their software to suit local time zones.

What is GMT?

GMT is the time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. The time here is used as a benchmark against all other time zones across the globe. During Australian daytime saving time, GMT is 11 hours behind Melbourne and Sydney. Therefore, the platform time for MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 is 9 hours behind Melbourne and Sydney (GMT +2 hours). Using this time zone also coincides with the closing time of the New York Stock Exchange, being 5pm EST.

Daylight saving

The time zone changes periodically with different daylight-saving times, so for example in winter, the platform time changes to GMT +3 hours. The time zone changes twice a year to stay in line with the NYSE. In 2021 New York will begin daylight saving on Sunday, March 14, where clocks will be turned forward an hour at 2am. Then again on November 7 in 2021, where clocks will be turned back an hour. The time adjustment briefly affects trading on MetaTrader the following Monday, with CFD indices opening an hour later than normal. Trading hours then resume back to normal until the end of daylight saving.

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All times are AEDT.