Market regulator Sebi is looking into suggestions for extending stock market trading hours till at least 5 pm, sources said. The stock market in India currently opens at 9 am and closes at 3.30 pm, but there is a view -- including among stock exchanges -- that the trade hours could be extended to better align domestic trading with global markets. Before taking a final decision, Sebi will take into account inputs from the government and the RBI, after which a consultation paper may be issued for all the stakeholders concerned for any change to the trade timings. Stock exchanges have earlier also proposed to extend the timings, but all such proposals have always met with a strong resistance from brokers while regulator Sebi has so far maintained a neutral stance and wants any move to be based on views of all the stakeholders, including bourses and market intermediaries. At present, the markets also have 15 minutes each of pre-open and post-closing sessions within the overall schedule of 9 am to 3.30 pm.
Last time, the trade timings were changed in 2009 when opening time was changed from 9.45 am to 9 am. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), in October 2009, had permitted the stock exchanges to set the trading hours between 9 am to 5 pm.
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