Stock market hours: when is the best time of day to trade shares?

Stock market hours will reflect each exchange’s opening and closing times. Discover our trading hours for stock markets all over the world – including the LSE, NYSE and NASDAQ.

What are the stock market trading hours?

Stock market trading hours vary by exchange and geographical location. Often when people are talking about the stock market, they’re referring to US exchanges – such as the NYSE or NASDAQ – which are open from 2.30 pm to 9 pm (UTC).

While these are the ‘normal’ trading hours for shares, there is activity outside of this session. Most stock exchanges will offer pre- and post-market trading, Monday to Friday. These sessions don’t work in the same way as the regular hours, as buyers and sellers are paired directly together through electronic communication networks, rather than going through brokers or trading providers.

Most share trading hours will run from Monday-Friday, five days a week. There are no regular trading hours for stocks on Saturdays or Sundays. So, if you see news about stocks being up or down over the weekend, it’s most likely stock futures – which begin trading at 11pm on Sunday night (UTC).

Our stock market hours

Market hours may vary for individual stocks, but broadly our stock trading hours are:

Equities market
Hours (UTC)
UK 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
US
2:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Canadian 2:30 pm to 9:00 pm
European 
8:00 am to 4:30 pm
Hong Kong
1:30 am to 8:00 am
  (break 4:00 am to 5:00 am)
Singapore 
1:00 am to 9:00 am
  (break 4:00 am to 5:00 am)

You can find the hours for each individual share in the market hours section of each dealing ticket in our platform.

Open an account to get started trading shares.

Stock market opening times

Take a look at the stock market opening and closing times for different exchanges all over the world:

  • UK stock market hours
  • US stock market hours
  • European stock market hours
  • Asian stock market hours
  • Australian stock market hours
  • South American stock market hours

UK stock market hours

The London Stock Exchange opens at 8 am UK time, and closes at 4:30 pm – with a break from 12:00 pm to 12:02 pm. The London stock market hours are some of the longest in the world – with a total of 8 hours and 28 minutes of trading time.

Most other exchanges only open for between 5 and 7 hours. These longer hours mean there is likely to be more volatility, as more news occurs within the time that the market is open, giving traders and investors time to adjust positions.

The London Stock Exchange does close for lunch, but unlike markets in Asia and the Middle East which close for an hour, the LSE only closes between 12:00 pm and 12:02 pm. The LSE is not open on weekends.

US stock market hours

The NYSE and the NASDAQ are the two largest American exchanges, both of which are located in New York City. Their regular stock trading hours are Monday to Friday 9:30 am to 4:30 pm EST (2:30pm to 9pm GMT).

Most US exchanges do not close for lunch, but there is typically less trading in the middle of the day. Most liquidity for the US session is found at the opening and closing bells.

The US session is shorter than the UK market hours – totalling just 6 hours and 30 minutes. A shorter window of trading leads to less volatility, as more news occurs while the market is shut, giving everyone time to digest the information before they make a trade.

European stock market hours

The European stock market is open for the longest period of all regions as it’s home to a vast number of exchanges. The Euronext is the largest, which represents a number of markets such as Amsterdam, Paris, Lisbon and Brussels.

The Euronext exchange doesn’t close for lunch and isn’t open on weekends. Just like the UK stock exchange hours, Euronext is open for much longer than normal hours – totalling 8 hours and 30 minutes of trading time.

Although not part of the European Union, the London Stock Exchange and Moscow Exchange are European exchanges too, so you’ll see them grouped into the stock hours.

Asian stock market hours

Asian stock market hours fall into the early shift of global market trading. In a lot of Asian countries, lunch breaks are common practice so it’s important to know when trading will stop and restart. There is typically less liquidity anyway during the middle of the day, as most volume is found at the start and end of the day.

In some other Asian countries – such as India and South Korea – lunch breaks were banned in order to encourage more market activity.

Most Asian trading hours are only between 4 hours and 6 and a half hours long. These shorter trading sessions see much less activity than other global sessions.

Australian stock market hours

The Australian stock market is open from 10 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday, Australian Eastern Daylight Time. The Australian market is open for 6 hours per day, while the New Zealand market is open for 6 hours and 45 minutes – both are relatively average opening hours.

South American stock market hours

These hours differ slightly for some South American Exchanges, as although they largely overlap with the larger North American markets, they start and finish at slightly different times.

Unlike its North American counterparts, the Brazil Stock Exchange is open for longer than most global markets – with a total of 7 hours 55 minutes. This means the exchange sees far more volatility than others as news is digested throughout the trading day.

What is the best time to trade shares?

The best time to trade shares is around major news and events – market moving events can change from country to country, exchange to exchange, and stock to stock. This makes it important to have an understanding of all the factors that could move your share’s price before you take a position.

Examples of events to watch out for include:

Power hour stock market

Power hour is the time just before a market closes. A lot of share traders will look to trade within power hour as it tends to see a lot of volatility and liquidity as market participants adjust their positions before the market shuts.

While power hour will depend on each individual stock exchange’s opening hours, the global power hour is generally considered to be between 7 pm and 8 pm (UTC) when the US stock market is winding down.

Learn more about end-of-day trading.

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