The securities and Exchange board of India (Sebi) is considering a proposal to cut down trading hours for commodities derivatives from 11.30 PM to 5 PM till the time lockdow over coronavirus is in place.
This follows the submission by brokers to the regulator requesting such measures following lockdown. Many brokers finding it difficult to call even bare minimum staff required in office.
Equity derivatives are functioning till 3.30 for derivatives and cash market. However, commodities traditionally remain open till late, especially for globally refrenciable commodities like bullion, metals and energy. International markets are open round the clock.
In view of Covid-19, government has declared countrywide lockdown till April 14 and brokers and exchange staff are also finding it difficult to manage to come to office despite no ban on them. In view of this, the Commodity Participants Association of India, an apex body for commodity brokers has represented to the regulator to cut timing for derivatives in line with agri commodities which end at 5 PM.
“As a temporary measure till normalcy is established again it is advisable to cut trading timings to 5 pm,” said Narendra Wadhwa, President, CPAI.
During lockdown, warehouse, transport and mandis are functioning irregularly and labour is not available. As a result delivering goods on expiry will be difficult and hence, Wadhva suggested that sebi should merge current month agri commodities contracts with following month expiry contracts. This will provide time and by that time lock down will be over.