Coronavirus: Exchanges cut trading hours for commodity trading till 5 pm
Leading stock exchanges BSE and NSE on Thursday cut down trading hours for commodities derivative segment till 5 pm, instead of the current practice of allowing it up till midnight, in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.
Trading will begin at 9 am and close at 5 pm and the new timings will be effective from March 30 to April 14, the exchanges said.
In separate statements, commodity exchanges – MCX and ICEX – announced about the reduced trading hours.
Commodity markets trade between 10 am and 11.50 pm, while equity markets close at 3.30 pm.
"In view of the novel COVID-19 outbreak, the nationwide lockdown of 21 days and pursuant to discussions with Sebi, it has been decided to revise the trading timings, BSE and NSE said in similar worded circulars.
Narinder Wadhwa, President, Commodity Participants Association of India (CPAI) said the move will provide great relief to all members amid a 21-day nationwide lockdown.
Earlier, CPAI had requested markets regulator Sebi to cut short the timing as they are not able to keep offices open up till midnight.
Amidst problems faced by stockbrokers and other staff related to market entities in reaching their offices due to a nationwide lockdown to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, markets regulator Sebi on Wednesday asked all the states and union territories to allow such personnel to commute to their workplaces for the smooth functioning of the capital markets.
However, the home ministry said capital and debt market entities notified by Sebi will be exempted from such closure.
Accordingly, the regulator-notified entities exempted from the nationwide closure are stock exchanges, clearing corporations, depositories, custodians, mutual funds, asset management companies, stockbrokers, trading members, clearing members, depositories participants, registrar, and share transfer agents.
Besides, credit rating agencies, debenture trustees, foreign portfolio investors, portfolio managers, alternative investment funds and investment advisers have also been exempted.
(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)