What investors need to know about Share Market Timings in India

You all know about the share market.

You know how it’s a place where rags can turn to riches and vice versa in the blink of an eye.

You know about the speculation and the money that flies around, looking for a pocket to fall into.

But do you really KNOW the share market?

Do you know what time Indian share market opens?

Do you know what time Indian stock market closes?

Do you know the myriad intricacies to the stock market which make it the multi faceted institution we all know and love?

I’m not going to blame you.

Most people are unware of the seemingly innocuous details that should actually be common knowledge.

So I’m going to tell you all about the share market timings in India.

Let’s start with the basics.

The share market is always closed over the weekend. Trading takes place on the Indian equities segment on all weekdays. There is absolutely no trading on Saturday, Sunday and any other published holiday which has been declared in advance by the Indian stock market.

Did you know that there are actually three sessions in the Indian stock market?

Yes, that’s right.

Share market timings in India:

Timing of the Indian share market is divided into three sessions:

Session Timing
Pre-open Trading Session 09:00 – 09:15
Trading Session (normal session) 09:15 – 15:30
Post closing Session 15:40 – 16:00

Pre-opening trading session:

The Pre-Open Trading Session lasts from 09:00 to 09:15.

What is the point of this pre market trading session?

I’m glad you asked.

Well, sometimes when there is a big announcement or merger or something similar the night before, generally there occurs some volatility in the market the next day. The point of the pre market trading session is to reduce the volatility and discover the right price.

The 15 minute session is broken up into 3 parts.

1. During the first 8 minutes (09:00 AM to 09:08 AM), you can place, modify or cancel orders. The order entry stops anytime between the 7th and 8th minutes. No orders are accepted after this time.

2. In the next 4 minutes (09:08 AM to 09:12 AM) , orders are matched, executable prices discovered and trades are confirmed. Any modification or cancellation of orders are not allowed during this time.

Have you ever wondered how this executable price or equilibrium price is decided?

I mean, it all happens really fast, right?

So how do you know how much the price should change?

By the way, by equilibrium price, I mean the price at which the maximum volume is executable. This is the price at which there are maximum buy and sell orders.

In case more than one price meets the given criteria, the equilibrium price is that price at which there is minimum order imbalance quantity or unmatched quantity.

In the pre-opening session, orders are entered into the system continuously filling the auction order book but remain unexecuted till the end of the order entry period i.e., 9:08 AM. Between 9:08 AM to 9:12 AM, orders get matched into trades at a single price.

It follows the concept of the multilateral order matching i.e. it will find a price at which maximum orders will be executed rather than bilateral matching. (In bilateral matching, it finds different prices according to supply & demand, which happens in regular market).

If the normal method of determining price i.e., the bilateral matching system would have been used, then some trades would have happened on different prices, and by determining the price by using the multilateral matching system, the exchange is smoothing out some of the volatility that occurs in the opening moments of the market.

Instead of executing trades right from the get go, Pre-opening call auction takes all orders and then arrive at an equilibrium price.

3. The last 3 minutes (09:12 AM to 09:15 AM) are more of a buffer time to ease into the normal trading day.

At present, you can place orders for the pre-open session only in Cash product under Equity segment.

Interesting, isn’t it?

Normal Trading Session:

After the pre-opening session is wrapped up, the normal trading session starts from 09:15 to 15:30. Trades occur continuously as orders match at a time/place priority.

Post Closing Session:

The post closing session of the stock market occurs from 15:40 to 16:00.

Similar to pre market session, post closing session is allowed only for equity trading. The post market session or closing session occurs from 15:40 to 16:00. During this time, you can place buy or sell orders in equity at the closing price of the normal trading session. For example, if the closing price of Infosys at 15:30 is Rs. 1050, you can place buy or sell orders in the post closing session at the price of Rs. 1050 only.

You can place both market and limit orders as part of the pre-open session. A uniform price band of 20% is applicable to all securities in the pre-open session. Pre-opening session reduces price volatility due to multiple matching of orders at a single price & provides greater liquidity due to deeper demand supply schedule.
Overnight orders can be placed in all scrips i.e. Pre-open enabled scrips as well as other scrips enabled for equity trading.

This stock market timing is applicable to both the main stock exchanges of India, NSE (National Stock Exchange) & BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange)

After Market Orders:

After Market Orders (AMO) or Overnight orders are orders which can be placed by you after normal market hours and before the next day’s trading session.

You can place the after market orders till the next trading session. The after market orders timings vary broker to broker.

After market hours of HDFC Securities:

7:30 PM  to 11:30 PM &
3:30 AM  to  8:59 AM

After market hours of Kotak Securities:

  • 15 p.m. to 9.30 p.m.
  • 30 p.m. to 7.30 a.m.
  • 30 a.m. to 9.00 a.m.

Interesting, isn’t it?

There are so many fine nuances to the functioning of the stock market which most people are simply unaware of.

Anyway, this is about all I had to tell you about the share market timings in India. If you would like to add something or express your opinions, feel free to leave a comment.

Happy trading/investing!


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