The Indian Stock Market. Photo: KnowInsiders
The Indian Stock Market. Photo: KnowInsiders

What is the Purpose of a Stock Market Exchange?

Stock markets are the reflection of the revenue that a country makes on a daily basis. Though the stock market runs on behalf of the country, the prime reason for the existence of the stock market is to help companies around the world raise money. For companies to raise money through stocks they must sell their private ownership of the company to the public in the form of stocks. These stocks are the firm’s capital formation. Stocks keep increasing or decreasing over time depending on the number of stocks that they have in the market and the value of those stocks.

Other functions of the stock market include regulated trading of stocks for investment purposes. Stocks are exchanged on a global basis and anyone around the world can buy or sell their stocks to other people across the globe. Since stocks come with all information relating to them, investors find it easier to understand which stock to buy and how they should invest in it.

Know Share Market Timings in India

To trade in the Indian financial markets, you need to have an online demat account and an online trading account. The demat account acts as a virtual space in which you can hold the shares you own. The trading account, on the other hand, allows you to trade in the financial markets. With a combination of an online demat account and an online trading account, you can buy, hold, and sell stocks and other financial assets as you need to.

You also need to be aware of the stock market timings before you trade or invest in the markets. All over the country, the share market timings are the same. So, once you get to know what the stock market timings are, you can make use of this information to buy, sell, or invest in shares from any part of the country. The timings are also the same whether you want to trade on any of the two major stock exchanges in India, namely the BSE and the NSE.

As per the normal stock market timings, the market opens at 09:15 AM and closes at 03:30 PM. There’s a pre-opening session before 09:15 AM and a post-closing session after 03:30 PM. So, all in all, the share market timings consist of the pre-opening session, the normal session, and the post-closing session.

Read More: Can Foreigners Buy or Invest in the Indian Stock Market?

Photo: MoneyMint
Photo: MoneyMint

Pre-opening session

Meaning: Pre-Open market Session is a new innovation on the exchange side to arrive at the ideal opening price of a stock for the current trading session. The duration of the pre-open market session is from 9:00 AM to 9:15 AM, i.e. 15 minutes before the trading session starts at 9.15 AM and is conducted on both the major Indian stock exchanges i.e. NSE and BSE.

Purpose: It is provided to stabilize heavy volatility due to some major event or announcement that comes overnight before the market actually opens for trading.

Special events, like merger and acquisition announcements by a company, de-listing of stocks, debt-restructuring, credit-rating downgrades, etc., can have an impact on investors.

So basically, the pre-open market session is conducted in the Indian stock market to discover the right price of the stock.

The pre-opening session starts at 09:00 AM and extends up to 09:15 AM. It’s further divided into three sections. During one of these sections, you can place orders to buy or sell shares for a limited period. Let’s look at the details of the pre-opening session below.

Section 1: From 09:00 AM to 09:08 AM

During these 8 minutes, you can place orders to buy or sell different shares in the stock market. In addition to that, you can also modify or cancel any orders that you may have placed. When the normal trading session begins at 09:15 AM, the orders placed during this section of the pre-opening session get preference in the queue of orders.

Section 2: From 09:08 AM to 09:12 AM

During these 4 minutes, you cannot place any new orders, modify existing ones, or cancel any order. This section is necessary so that price matching can be performed. Price matching involves comparing demand and supply. It helps determine the final prices at which different shares will be traded when the market opens at 09:15 AM.

Section 3: From 09:12 AM to 09:15 AM

This 3-minute window of time is like a connection section between the pre-opening session and the normal trading hours. It behaves like a buffer to ease the transition into the regular trading session. Again, during these 3 minutes as well, you cannot place, modify, or cancel any orders.

Regular trading session:

Normal/Limited Physical Market Opens: 09:15 hours

Normal/Limited Physical Market Close: 15:30 hours

During these hours any transactions made follows bilateral order matching system, which means the demand and supply forces determine the prices. Since the Bilateral order matching system is volatile and includes several market fluctuations that create an impact on the security prices in the end, the multi-order system was formulated for the pre-opening session.

Post-closing session

This session begins when the regular trading session comes to a close at 03:30 PM. The post-closing session, which runs up to 04:00 PM, consists of two sections.

Section 1: From 03:30 PM to 03:40 PM

In these 10 minutes, the closing prices of stocks are calculated by taking the weighted average of the stock prices traded between 03:00 PM and 03:30 PM. The closing prices of indices like Sensex and Nifty are calculated by considering the weighted average prices of all the securities that are listed in that index.

Section 2: From 03:40 PM to 04:00 PM

In this 20-minute section, you can still place buy and sell orders. But the orders are confirmed only if there are sufficient numbers of buyers and sellers in the market.

What is Muhurat Trading

Muhurat trading is the auspicious stock market trading for an hour on Diwali (Deepawali). It is a symbolic and old ritual, that has been retained and observed for ages, by the trading community. As Diwali also marks the beginning of the New Year, it is believed that muhurat trading on this day brings n wealth and prosperity throughout the year.

Timings of Muhurat trading

Muhurat trading session on NSE will commence at 6:15 and close at 7:15 pm this Diwali. The special trading window opens following Hindu Panchang, it marks the beginning of a new Samvat or Samvat 2078 -- the Hindu calendar year that starts on Diwali - and it is believed that Muhurat trading brings prosperity and wealth throughout the year.

Summary of Different Session of Stock Market Timings in India

Timings Particular
9:00 AM to 9:15 AM Pre-Opening Session
9:15 AM to 3:30 PM Normal Trading Session
3:30 PM to 3:40 PM Closing Price Calculation Session
3:40 PM to 4:00 PM Post-Closing Session

Important Note

Most of the investors doesn’t know that there exists any facility of Pre-opening and Post closing sessions on the stock market. Most of the Investors use only the normal market session for trading in stocks.

Anyone can trade during Pre-opening and Post closing sessions but Sometimes stock brokers will not activate this feature in your trading account as standard because they don’t want a bunch of new traders trading in the pre and post-market sessions when volatility is a lot higher due to low volume.

So, in that case, you will have to contact your broker to activate the pre-open market session feature if it doesn’t come standard.

Trading Holidays For Equity (NSE & BSE)

Sr. No Holidays

1 Republic Day

2 Mahashivratri

3 Holi

4 Good Friday

5 Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar Jayanti

6 Ram Navami

7 Id-Ul-Fitr (Ramzan Id)

8 Bakri Id

9 Moharram

10 Ganesh Chaturthi

11 Dussehra

12 Diwali-Laxmi Pujan *

13 Diwali-Balipratipada

14 Gurunanak Jayanti

* Special Muhurat Trading Session as per time slot defined by exchanges.

Trading Holidays for Commodity(MCX/NCDEX)

Sr. No Holidays Morning Evening
1 New Year Day Open Closed
2 Republic Day Closed Closed
3 Mahashivratri Closed Open
4 Holi Closed Open
5 Good Friday Closed Closed
6 Ambedkar Jayanti Closed Open
7 Ram Navmi Closed Open
8 Ramzan Id (Id-Ul-Fitr) Closed Open
9 Bakri Id Closed Open
10 Moharram Closed Open
11 Ganesh Chaturthi Closed Open
12 Dassera Closed Open
13 Diwali - Laxmi Pujan Closed Open
14 Diwali - Balipratipada Closed Open
15 Guru Nanak Jayanti Closed Open

Does the India National Stock Exchange have After-Hours Trading?

No, the India National Stock Exchange does not have pre-market trading or after-hours trading. If you believe this is an omission, please contact us. Be sure to mention which market you are referring to.

Shares can always be traded on the India National Stock Exchange during regular trading hours (listed above).

Extended Trading Hours are sessions before and after the official trading session during which trading can be conducted electronically. Pre-market trading and after-hours trading generally have less volume than during the regular trading hours and may have different trading rules.

There is limited liquidity during extended hours which can cause increased volatility, larger spreads and greater price uncertainty. Earnings reports and other significant news are typically announced after regular trading hours end. This can lead to major price swings in after-hours markets.

Does the India National Stock Exchange close for Lunch?

No, the India National Stock Exchange does not close for lunch.

Many markets in Asia and a few markets in the Middle East close for lunch. Markets in most of the rest of the world do not close for lunch. Our market countdown and the API both take lunch breaks into account.

There is typically less liquidity during the middle of the day. Most trading happens near the beginning and end of the day. Having a shorter trading window can help to make markets more efficient by increasing liquidity and reducing spreads.

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