Stock Market Opening Times: When Does the Stock Market Open?

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Investing can be an exciting process, especially for new investors, but the stock market isn’t accessible 24 hours a day. 

Stock exchanges worldwide have fixed periods during which trading can occur between Monday and Friday. The exclusion of weekends is often seen as an annoyance. However, it serves as a valuable break from the volatility to enable investors to reflect and process updates from businesses. That’s why famous investor Warren Buffett always releases the earnings reports for Berkshire Hathaway on a Saturday when the market is closed.

With that said, what time does the stock market open in the UK and abroad?

Opening and closing times of the London Stock Exchange

There are multiple financial exchanges in the United Kingdom. But when it comes to dealing in stocks and shares, the London Stock Exchange is where most of it happens.

ExchangeStandard Trading Hours
London Stock Exchange8am – 12pm & 12.02pm – 16.30pm
AIM8am – 12pm & 12.02pm – 16.30pm

As the table shows, the London Stock Exchange and its AIM extension are open eight and half hours a day, Monday through Friday. However, at lunchtime, there is a two-minute period when all trading activity is paused.1 Why does this break exist?

Investing through dark pools

Despite the timing, it has nothing to do with getting lunch. This two-minute session is actually an auctioning period for institutional investors, like pension funds, to execute trades in large blocks at a fixed price. 

This rule was introduced in 2014 as a means to reduce institutional reliance on “dark pools”.2 These are private stock exchanges run by big banks that still exist today. Despite the shady-sounding name, dark pools are both legal and regulated. By enticing institutions to execute their large order blocks on the London Stock Exchange, it provides greater liquidity for retail investors who don’t have access to these private exchanges.

UK stock market holidays

Throughout the year, there are extra days when the stock market remains closed on specific holidays. This varies from country to country. Here in the UK, the stock market holidays are summarised in the table below.3

3 January 2022New Year’s DayClosed
15 April 2022Good FridayClosed
18 April 2022Easter MondayClosed
2 May 2022Early May Bank HolidayClosed
2 June 2022Spring Bank HolidayClosed
3 June 2022Platinum Jubilee Bank HolidayClosed
29 August 2022Summer Bank HolidayClosed
23 December 2022Christmas DayEarly closing at 12.30pm
26 December 2022Boxing DayClosed
27 December 2022Christmas SubstituteClosed
30 December 2022New Year’s DayEarly closing at 12.30pm
2 January 2023New Year’s Day SubstituteClosed
7 April 2023Good FridayClosed
10 April 2023Easter MondayClosed
1 May 2023Early May Bank HolidayClosed
29 May 2023Spring Bank HolidayClosed
28 August 2023Summer Bank HolidayClosed

Opening and closing times of US stock exchanges

Across the pond, there are two primary stock exchanges in the US, namely the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq. And for British investors seeking to buy foreign shares, the trading hours can be substantially different due to time zones.

ExchangeRegular Trading Hours (EST)Regular Trading Hours (GMT)
New York Stock Exchange9.30am – 16.00pm14.30pm – 21.00pm
Nasdaq9.30am – 16.00pm14.30pm – 21.00pm

Similar to the London Stock Exchange, both are open Monday through Friday. Neither exchange closes at lunchtime. However, it’s common to see trading activity cool down during this period. Most transactions are executed in the morning or right before the closing bell.

US stock market holidays

These exchanges also have stock market holidays, some of which are different to the UK.4

3 January 2022New Year’s DayClosed
17 January 2022Martin Luther King, Jr DayClosed
21 February 2022Washington’s BirthdayClosed
15 April 2022Good FridayClosed
30 May 2022Memorial DayClosed
20 June 2022Juneteenth National Independence DayClosed
4 July 2022Independence DayClosed
5 September 2022Labour DayClosed
24 November 2022Thanksgiving DayCloses Early at 13.00pm
25 December 2022Christmas DayClosed
2 January 2023New Year’s DayClosed
16 January 2023Martin Luther King, Jr DayClosed
20 February 2023Washington’s BirthdayClosed
7 April 2023Good FridayClosed
29 May 2023Memorial DayClosed
19 June 2023Juneteenth National Independence DayClosed
4 July 2023Independence DayCloses Early at 13.00pm
4 September 2023Labour DayClosed
23 November 2023Thanksgiving Closes Early at 13.00pm
25 December 2023Christmas DayClosed

Opening and closing times of stock exchanges worldwide 

The UK and US stock exchanges are some of the most popular within the West. There are other exchanges worldwide that provide a host of other opportunities.5

ExchangeCountryRegular Trading HoursRegular Trading Hours (GMT)
Mexican Stock ExchangeMexico8.30am – 15.00pm14.30pm – 21.00pm
Toronto Stock ExchangeCanada9.30am – 16.00pm14.30pm – 22.00pm
EuronextNetherlands, France, Portugal, Belgium9.00am – 17.30pm8.00am – 16.30pm
Börse Frankfurt Stock ExchangeGermany9.00am – 17.30pm8.00am – 16.30pm
Madrid Stock ExchangeSpain9.00am – 17.30pm8.00am – 16.30pm
Tokyo Stock ExchangeJapan9.00am – 11.30am & 12.30pm – 15.00pm1.00am – 3.30am & 4.30am – 7.00am
Hong Kong Stock ExchangeHong Kong9.30am – 12.00pm & 13.00pm – 16.00pm2.30am – 5.00am & 6.00am – 9.00am
Shanghai Stock ExchangeShanghai9.30am – 11.30am & 13.00pm – 15.00pm2.30am – 4.30am & 6.00am – 8.00am
National Stock Exchange of IndiaIndia9.00am – 17.00pm4.30am – 12.30pm
South Korea Stock ExchangeSouth Korea9.00am – 15.30pm1.00am – 7.30am
Australian Securities ExchangeAustralia8.55am – 17.35pm23.55pm – 8.35am
New Zealand Stock ExchangeNew Zealand10.00am – 16.45pm 23.00pm – 5.45am
Brasil Bolsa Balcão S.ABrazil10.00am – 16.45pm14.00pm – 20.45pm
Buenos Aires Stock ExchangeArgentina11.0am – 17.00pm 15.00pm – 21.00pm
Santiago Stock ExchangeChile9.30am – 16.00pm14.30pm – 21.00pm

Article Sources

This article contains general educational content only and does not take into account your personal financial situation. Before investing, your individual circumstances should be considered, and you may need to seek independent financial advice.  

To the best of our knowledge, all information in this article is accurate as of time of posting. In our educational articles, a "top share" is always defined by the largest market cap at the time of last update. On this page, neither the author nor The Motley Fool have chosen a "top share" by personal opinion.

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