Photo: KnowInsiders
Photo: KnowInsiders

What is London Stock Exchange (LSE)?

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) is the primary stock exchange in the United Kingdom and the largest in Europe. Originated more than 300 years ago, the regional exchanges were merged in 1973 to form the Stock Exchange of Great Britain and Ireland, later renamed the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE) 100 Share Index, or "Footsie", is the dominant index, containing 100 of the top blue-chip stocks on the LSE.

The stock exchange is physically located in the city of London. In 2007, the London Stock Exchange merged with the Milan Stock Exchange, the Borsa Italiana, to form the London Stock Exchange Group.

What Are Stock Market Holidays and Bank Holidays?

Market Holiday: A non-weekend day on which the U.K. financial markets are closed. This includes the stock market and bond markets, typically. If you want to buy or sell an investment such as a stock, ETF, mutual fund or bond, it’s important to know when the trading days are closed.

Bank Holiday: A non-weekend day which most commercial banks and savings institutions are closed to the public. While all Federal Banks and branches are closed, it is important to know that not every bank observes the holidays below; so, be sure to check your bank’s holiday schedule.  

List of Trading Holidays of LSE Market in 2022






Jan 03, 2022

New Year's Day

Full-Day Off


Apr 15, 2022

Good Friday

Full-Day Off


Apr 18, 2022

Easter Monday

Full-Day Off


May 02, 2022

Early May Bank Holiday

Full-Day Off


Jun 02, 2022

Spring Bank Holiday

Full-Day Off


Aug 29, 2022

Summer Bank Holiday

Full-Day Off


Dec 24, 2022

Christmas Eve

Evening Off


Dec 26, 2022

Christmas Day

Full-Day Off


Dec 27, 2022

Boxing Day

Full-Day Off


Dec 31, 2022

New Year's Eve

Evening Off

London Stock Exchange Stock Market Holidays in 2023, 2024, 2025

Regular trading hours for the London Stock Exchange (LSE) are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM ET. The stock market periodically closes during the Public and Bank Holidays of England & Wales.

Below, you will find a list of LSE holidays for 2022 through 2025:

London Stock Exchange Market Holidays 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
New Year's Day January 1st January 3rd January 2nd January 1st January 1st
Good Friday April 2nd April 15th April 7th March 29th April 18th
Easter Monday April 5th April 18th April 10th April 1st April 21st
Early May Bank Holiday May 3rd May 2nd May 1st May 6th May 5th
Late May Bank Holiday May 31st May 30th May 29th May 27th May 26th
Summer Bank Holiday August 30th August 29th August 28th August 26th August 25th
Christmas December 27th December 26th December 25th December 25th December 25th
Boxing Day December 28th December 27th December 26th December 26th December 26th

Markets closing process commences from 12:30 London time on the following dates:

LSE Partial Holidays 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025
Christmas Eve December 24th December 23rd December 22nd December 24th December 24th
New Year's Eve December 31st December 30th December 29th December 31st December 31st

How to Invest in the LSE

Photo: Buy Shares
Photo: Buy Shares

Investors can choose from several ways to invest in securities trading on the LSE, including opening an account with a foreign stockbroker or international broker, buying American depositary receipts for LSE issues, or trading Contracts for Difference (CFD) for LSE-listed shares.

The most straightforward way to trade LSE issues is to open an account with an international broker that is a member of the LSE. This allows investors located anywhere to trade LSE stocks in the form of global depositary receipts. These accounts typically require significant minimum deposits, however.

Another approach many U.S. investors favor is trading ADRs secured by LSE securities. These are listed on U.S. exchanges. Not all LSE companies will have ADRs, however.

Tips for Investing

If you are a retail investor and want to trade shares on the London Stock Exchange, an experienced financial advisor can help guide you through the process. Finding one doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If you’re ready, get started now.

Since investing in non-U.S. securities can be more complicated than investing on a U.S. exchange, it’s important to keep close tabs on how much of your portfolio goes into such investments. A free, easy-to-use asset allocation calculator can be immensely helpful in keeping your investments balanced.

Trading Hours in Europe

Name Marketplace Market Cap Ranking Time Zone Trading Hours Lunch Break
Euronext Amsterdam Amsterdam, Netherlands $5.08 6 CEST 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. No
London Stock Exchange London, United Kingdom $3.83 8 BST 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 12:02 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. to 12:02 p.m.
Frankfurt Stock Exchange Frankfurt, Germany $2.11 13 CEST 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. No
Nasdaq Stockholm AB Stockholm, Sweden $1.95 15 CEST 9:00 a.m. to 5:25 p.m. No
SIX Swiss Exchange Zurich, Switzerland $1.75 16 CEST 9:00 a.m. to 5:20 p.m. No

The LSE and the Big Bang

On Oct. 27, 1986, the U.K. government deregulated the London stock market. Known as the "Big Bang" because of the massive changes that immediately ensued, deregulation introduced electronic trading to the London Stock Exchange, which replaced traditional open outcry trading. The new system was efficient and faster, allowing trading volumes to increase and enabling the LSE to successfully rival other global exchanges, such as the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

The Big Bang was part of the government's reform program to eliminate overregulation and encourage free-market competition. It introduced other significant changes to the structure of the financial markets. These include the elimination of minimum fixed commissions on trades and the removal of the separation between companies that traded stocks and those that advised investors.

These changes increased competition among brokerage companies and led to a series of mergers and acquisitions. Another Big Bang change allowed foreign ownership of U.K. brokers, which opened London's market to international banks.

Facts About Trading Around Holidays

Seasonality can sometimes play a part in a trading strategy. Some holidays in the U.S. market provide periods of decreased trading volumes, as many investors and traders are busy with vacations and family plans. There tends to be little business news released right before a holiday, too.

The S&P 500 tends to trade at a loss on the last trading day of the year and gains on the first day of the new year. Trading days before and after Jan. 1 can be affected by tax gain/loss harvesting and portfolio rebalancing.

Sometimes the pattern is reversed, with advances the day before the holiday and declines the day after. There are usually gains on the Thursday before Good Friday and losses on the trading day after. Presidents' Day tends to have losses on both days, before and after. In contrast, both Christmas and Thanksgiving see gains on both days.

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