Why world stock market trading hours are important

World stock market trading hours are important to understand for indices and shares traders. The opening hours of individual exchanges are your window to execute trades, respond to market changes, and manage your portfolio throughout the day. Therefore, strong planning and decision-making depends on an awareness of world stock market trading hours. 

Some exchanges pause trading for a lunch break, which enables system maintenance, administrative tasks, and mitigates against excessive volatility. This break allows traders to reflect on positions and prepare for the second half of the trading day. However, other exchanges operate continuously without a break, meaning it’s important to stay aware of potential market shifts throughout the entire session. 

All times shown in the piece are in the UTC timezone.

What time does the UK stock market open?

The UK stock market (London Stock Exchange) opens at 7:00am UTC and closes at 3:30pm with no lunch break, impacting the UK 100 index.

What time does the US stock market open?

The US stock market (New York Stock Exchange) opens at 1:30pm UTC and closes at 8:00pm, with no lunch break, impacting the Dow Jones, (US Wall Street 30) S&P 500 (US 500).

What time do Asian markets open?

Asian markets open and close at different times depending on the exchange. The Japan Exchange Group, from which the Nikkei 225 (Japan 225) is compiled, opens at 12:00am UTC and closes at 6:00am, while the Shanghai Stock Exchange, covering the SSE Composite (China A50) opens at 1:30am UTC and closes at 7:00am. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, from which the Hang Seng (Hong Kong 50) is compiled, also opens at 1:30am UTC and closes at 8:00am. All of these exchanges have lunch breaks (see below table).

What time do European markets open?

European markets mostly open and close at the same times. The Euronext Paris, from which the CAC 40 (France 40) and the AEX (Netherlands 25) are compiled, opens at 7:00am UTC and closes at 3:30pm. The Frankfurt Stock Exchange, from which the DAX 40 (Germany 40) is compiled, the Bolsa de Madrid, for the Ibex 35 (Spain 35), and the Borsa Italiana (Italian Stock Exchange) for the Italy 40, share the same hours.

What time do Australasian markets open?

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), from which the ASX 200 (Australia 200) is compiled, opens at 11:00pm UTC and closes at 5:00am. The New Zealand Stock Exchange, for the New Zealand 50, is open from 9:00pm UTC to 3:45am.

What are the major exchange opening and closing times?

Here is a complete list of the major stock exchange opening and closing times to be aware of, showing the exchange as well as the related indices we offer, with the specific Capital.com market to look for in brackets.

Stock exchange 

Opening hours (UTC)

Closing hours (UTC)

Lunch break


Related stock indices 

London Stock Exchange 




FTSE 100 (UK 100)

FTSE 250 (UK 250)

New York Stock Exchange




Dow Jones, (US Wall Street 30) S&P 500 (US 500)

Nasdaq Stock Market*




US Tech 100





CAC 40 (France 40)
AEX (Netherlands 25)

Shanghai Stock Exchange 




SSE Composite (China A50)

Japan Exchange Group 




Nikkei 225 (Japan 225)

Hong Kong Stock Exchange




Hang Seng (Hong Kong 50)

*Nasdaq® is a trademark of Nasdaq Inc. The information provided herein is for informative purposes only.

What is after hours trading?

After hours trading, also known as extended hours trading, refers to the period that shares and indices can be traded outside of the regular hours of the exchange to which they relate. Therefore, after hours trading enables you to react to news and events that occur outside of the regular session. However, if you’re planning to trade after hours, it’s important to factor into your trading plan that overall volume can vary significantly compared to regular hours, potentially meaning lower liquidity and higher volatility. Find out more about the markets you can trade after hours with us.

Trading CFDs on indices and shares with Capital.com

Our mission to help you make better trading decisions is the driver for everything we do, and our multi-award-winning, user-friendly web trading platform and mobile apps are built with this goal in mind. You’ll find advanced tools, integrated financial news, personalised watchlists and much more – paired with 24/7 support.

Trading CFDs on indices and shares with Capital.com starts with our simple sign-up process. Once approved, you’ll be able to speculate on the price movements of a wide range of indices and shares, as well as forex and commodity instruments, with 3,000+ assets to choose from.

Ready to join a leading broker?

Join our community of traders worldwide
1. Create your account2. Make your first deposit3. Start trading