Categorized | Singapore Trading News

SGX to scrap trading lunch break from Aug 1 (All-Day Stock Trading)

The Singapore Exchange (SGX) will begin all-day stock trading from 1 August, dropping its usual 90-minute lunch break.

The SGX said all-day trade will help investors respond better to regional market movements and news flow.

But some market participants remain sceptical about the move and have called it a “radical change”.

It was a move twice delayed, first while reportedly waiting for official approval and then again when allowing market participants more time to adapt.

But the SGX said the time is right for securities to be traded all-day after gaining full support of its key stakeholders.

It added that by providing full-day access, investors will have more trading flexibility.

“Continuous all-day trading will offer all investors more opportunities to trade and manage their risks,” said SGX CEO Magnus Bocker.

He added by embracing trading hours which are aligned with those of other key markets, Singapore will make further progress as an international financial hub.

In Asia, Korea Exchange, India’s National Stock Exchange and Australian Securities Exchange already trade without breaking for lunch.

Hong Kong stock exchange expanded its trading hours earlier this year.

Other international exchanges such as New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, and London Stock Exchange operate continuous trading sessions while the Tokyo Stock Exchange plans to increase its trading hours to attract more investors.

David Gerald, the president of the Securities Investors Association of Singapore, welcomed SGX’s move.

“Continuous trading will give investors the ability to respond to regional market movements, and flexibility to execute orders any time during the trading day,” said Mr Gerald.

To handle trade during lunch hour, SGX said brokerages can make arrangements like having a central dealing desk to serve investors’ needs.

However, some brokers do not support the move, pointing out this will incur costs and they use the lunch hour to meet clients and build relationships.

But they are ready to comply with this new ruling.

Albert Fong, president of The Society of Remisiers (Singapore), said: “We have highlighted our concerns during the consultative stage. What we need to say have been said and a decision has been made. Yes, some are still very concerned. Who is not concerned about a policy change that will have an impact on their livelihood and income? But what to do? As much as we are against the no-lunch-break environment, we need to move forward in a fast-changing competitive business environment.”

Chew Sutat, SGX’s Head of Securities, said: “We have also supported The Society of Remisiers in various programmes to help them adapt to the changes in the market place, that they are actually able to participate in full flexible access from wherever they are.”

Meanwhile, SGX said that with mobile trading on the rise, investors and dealers will also be able to use online services in a continuous trading environment.

Looking ahead, the exchange reiterated its plans to reduce the minimum bid size for securities on 4 July and the rollout of Reach, the world’s fastest trading engine. But it added it has no plans to further extend its trading hours.

Adapted from CNA (By Travis Teo).

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