Market Hours Unveiled: Discover the Global Trading Session Timetable

Market Hours Unveiled: Discover the Global Trading Session Timetable

Explaining Trading Sessions

A trading session is a window of time that corresponds with the main trading hours of the day for a particular location. Various hours will be indicated by this term, based on the marketplaces and places under discussion. The trading session that each individual investor or trader will refer to is often one full day of trading in the local financial market, from the opening bell to the closing bell.

Variable features of the currency, futures, stock, and bond markets define their individual trading sessions on any given day, and varied time zones inevitably result in distinct primary trading hours across different countries.

What To Keep in Mind

  • The main trading period and location for a particular asset class are called a trading session. On weekdays, regular trading hours for U.S. stocks are 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). This is a clearly defined trading session.
  • Futures market trading hours are nearly 24 hours a day, six days a week. However, each product has its own unique futures trading times.
  • Within a 24-hour period, the NYSE’s operating hours correspond to the peak trading activity.
  • Various markets could have their own working hours, and foreign exchange deals with a lot of overlapping sessions that happen across different time zones around the world.

Taking a Closer Look at How a Trading Session Really Works

The duration of trading sessions varies by nation and asset class. Monday through Friday, except holidays, the regular trading session for U.S. equities begins at 9:30 a.m. and concludes at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET).

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), which closes early at 1:00 p.m. ET on multiple occasions throughout the year due to holidays, is the main factor influencing these schedules. The U.S. bond market is open for business from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET on weekdays.

In contrast, the trading hours in futures markets vary based on the exchange and the product being traded.

Certain markets may offer pre-market or after-hours trading sessions in addition to regular trading hours. Some marketplaces even offer round-the-clock trading.

Futures market hours vary depending on the market and the specific futures contract being traded. Typically, major futures exchanges like the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) operate nearly 24 hours a day during the trading week, starting Sunday evening and running through Friday afternoon. This extensive schedule allows traders across different time zones to participate in the market. However, there are brief daily breaks for maintenance and settlement, during which trading is paused. Futures trading hours provide greater flexibility and enable market participants to respond to global events in real-time, enhancing liquidity and risk management opportunities.

Trading Sessions of Pre-Market and After Hours

On weekdays, pre-market trading for U.S. equities takes place from 4:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET. On weekdays, however, after-hours trading takes place from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET, although exact times may differ depending on the exchange.

A compelling way to profit from significant news announcements or other events that happen outside of typical trading hours is through pre-market and after-hours trading. In light of this, there are several things that investors need to consider before trading outside regular business hours. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) specifically lists eight of these risk factors: 

  • Incapacity to View or Act on Quotes: Certain brokers restrict investors’ access to quotation viewing to their own trading platform, excluding quotes from other electronic communication networks (ECNs).
  • Lack of Liquidity: Compared to regular trading sessions, there is usually much less liquidity during after-hours trading because fewer traders participate in it.
  • Greater Quote Spreads: Wider bid-ask spreads are frequently the result of lower trading activity, which may complicate order execution.
  • Price Volatility: There can be more swings than usual, especially if there’s breaking news that could have a big impact on the market.
  • Uncertain Prices: Stocks traded after hours may have a different price than those traded during regular business hours.
  • Bias Toward Limit Orders: During after-hours sessions, a lot of ECNs only accept limit orders as opposed to market orders.
  • Competition from Professional Traders: A significant number of traders operating after hours are professionals employed by major institutions with greater access to data.
  • Computer Delays: Trade execution may take longer during pre-market or after-hours trading sessions because there is less technical help available.
  • After-Hours Trading: “Understanding the Risks,” U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Trading Sessions Around the Clock

Certain markets operate a round-the-clock trading period. The worldwide foreign exchange (FX) market, where currencies are traded, is one of the most prominent. The world’s biggest and most liquid market is the FX market.

The futures market does not use physical exchanges, in contrast to the equity market. Instead, it is made up of several sizable banks and brokerage houses that engage in intra-bank currency trading. The currency market is open from Sunday evening until Friday night, twenty-four hours a day, five days a week.

Frequent Trading Events Worldwide

The top 20 stock exchanges globally in terms of market capitalization are shown below, further categorized by continent.

Trading Sessions

As of June 12th.

Source: TradingHours.com

Name

Marketplace

Time Zone

Trading Hours

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)

New York, United States

EDT

9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Nasdaq Stock Market

New York, United States

EDT

9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX)

Toronto, Canada

EDT

9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE)

Shanghai, China

CST

9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 2:57 p.m.

Tokyo Stock Exchange

Tokyo, Japan

JST

9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE)

Shenzhen, China

CST

9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 2:57 p.m.

Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK)

Hong Kong

HKT

9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

National Stock Exchange of India (NSE)

Mumbai, India

IST

9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Saudi Stock Exchange

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

AST

10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

BSE Limited

Mumbai, India

IST

9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Korea Exchange (KRX)

Seoul, South Korea

KST

9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE)

Taipei, Taiwan

CST

9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

London Stock Exchange

London, United Kingdom

GMT

8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Frankfurt Stock Exchange

Frankfurt, Germany

CEST

8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

SIX Swiss Exchange

Zurich, Switzerland

CEST

9:00 a.m. to 5:20 p.m.

Euronext Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands

CEST

9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

B3 S.A.

São Paulo, Brazil

BRT

10:00 a.m. to 5:55 p.m.

Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)

Sydney, Australia

AEDT

10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)

Johannesburg, South Africa

SAST

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Futures
Market 

In order to determine when do futures markets open, the pre-market session is spent attentively monitoring the futures market, particularly the benchmark S&P 500 futures contract. Standardized contracts for the purchase or sale of an asset, such as a tangible good or a financial instrument, at a fixed future date and price are known as futures contracts.

Futures contracts on financial indexes like the Dow, Nasdaq, or S&P 500 are known as stock index futures. The most actively traded stock index futures in the world is the E-mini S&P 500 futures contract offered by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

E-mini S&P 500 futures, which are traded almost continuously, can predict the direction of the market at the beginning of the New York session.

The pre-market session is devoted to closely watching the futures market, especially the benchmark S&P 500 futures contract, in order to gauge the sentiment of the market for the day. Futures contracts are standardized agreements for the purchase or sale of an item at a predetermined future date and price, such as a financial instrument or tangible good.

Stock index futures are futures contracts that track financial indices such as the Dow, Nasdaq, or S&P 500. The Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s E-mini S&P 500 futures contract is the most commonly traded stock index futures globally. Nearly always traded, e-mini S&P 500 futures are able to forecast the market’s direction at the start of the New York session.