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Stock Market Timings

Stock Market Timings

Trading on India’s leading stock exchanges -the National Stock Exchange of India Limited (the ‘NSE’) and the BSE Limited (the ‘BSE’) – takes place on all weekdays, i.e. Monday through Friday except for Saturdays, Sundays and days which are declared as holidays by the two exchanges (see here for the list of exchange holidays for the calendar year 2023)

The trading timings for both exchanges is primarily divided into the below three sessions:

  1. Pre-open session
  2. Continuous trading session
  3. Closing and post closing session

The timing for each of these sessions is as below:

Pre-open session –

The pre-open session is for 15 minutes from 09.00 AM to 09.15 AM. This is a time frame within which order entries are accumulated and are later matched. Accordingly, this session is divided into three sessions based on time:

#09.00 AM to 09.08 AM –

One can only place orders in the pre-open session during the first 8 minutes. The benefit of placing orders during this time is that when the normal markets open, preference is given to these orders for clearance. Orders placed are also eligible to be canceled or tweaked for the investor’s benefit.

#09.08 AM to 09.12 AM–

This is the time when the price for securities is determined at which trading will begin during the normal trading hours. In this session orders placed in the previous time frame are matched with the market forces of demand and supply.

#09.12 AM to 09.15 AM –

This is the precursor for opening Indian stock markets for regular or normal trade. No orders are placed, nor any change in the previously placed orders can take place during this time frame.

Continuous trading session –

#09.15 AM to 03.30 PM –

This is the session which is widely regarded as the main time of trading in the stock markets. During this session, investors place orders followed by two ways to match the order. Given that the order placement and matching of the order happen almost simultaneously or consecutively, there is a lot of volatility during this transaction which finally affects the security price. The market forces of demand and supply drive this.

Closing and Post Closing session –

#03.30 PM to 03.40 PM

The ten minutes post the closing session is used to determine the closing prices of the stocks and the indices. This is done using a weighted average formula of prices from 03.00 PM to 03.30 PM.

#03.40 PM to 04.00 PM

Once the closing prices of the stocks and the indices are decided, investors are allowed to place orders for the following day in these twenty minutes. The orders placed are confirmed, given buyers’ and sellers’ availability. Accordingly, on the next trading day, these orders are settled at the stipulated price and not the opening price of the next trading day.

To summarise, the stock market timings can be categorised as below:

Particulars Pre – Open Session Continuous or Regular Trading Session Closing and Post-Closing Session
BSE & NSE 09.00 AM – 09.15 AM 09.15 AM – 03.30 PM 3.30 PM – 04.00 PM
What happens here?? Order entries take place for the first 8 minutes.
Post this, orders are matched at the market opening price at the end of the session.
Regular trades take place as per the matching of orders placed. Execution of trades takes place at the closing price of a scrip.
  • The ten minutes window from 03.30 PM to 03.40 PM is utilised to arrive at the closing price of the securities using a weighted average mechanism.
  • Block trades on the BSE can take place for a period of thirty-five (35) minutes starting at 09.15 AM.
  • Block trades on the NSE can take place between i) 08.45 AM to 09.00 AM and ii) 02.05 PM to 02.20 PM which effectively adds up to thirty (30) minutes.

Trading time on Muhurat Trading Day

India is a religious land and Diwali marks the new year in many parts, prominently among the trading community. Despite Diwali being a public holiday, the stock market is open for trading for one hour. The timing is decided as per the famous Muhurat (special timing) decided by the priests.

Trading time on Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) of India

For investors who have a keen eye for investing in the commodities market, it is pertinent to note the trading time for the leading commodity exchange in India – the Multi Commodity Exchange of India (the ‘MCX’). The timings go in for a slight modification basis the start or end of the US Daylight Savings concept. This is because commodities are traded on international referencing.

Special session –

# 08.45 AM to 08.59 AM

This is the session where the cancellation of pending orders takes place before the opening of the market. This is also known as an order cancellation session.

#09.00 AM to 11.30 PM

Normal trading takes place in this session This session takes place between April to October during the Non-US Daylight Saving period.

#09.00 AM to 11.55 PM

Normal trading takes place in this session. This session occurs between November and March during the US Daylight Saving period.

Below is a summary of the MCX trading timings:

Particulars Special Session Non-US Day Light Saving US Daylight Saving Period
MCX 08.45 AM – 08.59 AM 09.00 AM – 11.30 PM 09.00 AM – 11.55 PM
What happens here? Order cancellation takes place to cancel the order prior to the opening of the market. This is typically between April – October.
Normal trading in commodities takes place
This is typically between November – March.
Normal trading in commodities takes place.
  • Commodities like metals, bullions and energy products can be traded till up to 11:30 PM/ 11.55 PM
  • The Agri-commodities which are international referenceable can be traded till up to 09:00 PM

Happy Trading!