The Singapore Exchange (SGX) conducted its first trading session without a lunch break today, with almost S$110 million (US$91.49 million) traded during the additional hours.
From today, trading on SGX took place from 09.00 to 17.00, without the lunch break that runs from 12.00 to 14.00. Trading activity between 12.00 and 14.00 accounted for 6.4% of the day's total turnover, according to the exchange.
By enabling all day trading, SGX claims that investors will be able to respond more easily to market movements and news flow because of the increased overlap of trading hours with other exchanges in Asia.
“With the securities market open all day, Singapore strengthens its position as a leading financial centre. At the same time, investors will benefit from increased investment opportunities, which should eventually, help improve liquidity,” said Nels Friets, head of securities at SGX.
In addition to SGX, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) are also preparing to adjust the length of their trading days.
HKEx plans to cut its two-hour lunch break, first to 90 minutes and then one hour, while the PSE plans to extend its trading day from 13.30 to 15.30 from the start of next year. The TSE has delayed its implementation of longer trading hours until 21 November from May, following the major earthquake in March.
Furthermore, SGX has reported that the reduced minimum bid size it implemented for stocks on 4 July has saved investors S$130 million (US$108 million) in the last month. Spreads for shares priced below S$0.20 (US$0.16) have narrowed by an average of 53% compared with the June average, with trading volume in these stocks growing by 51%, to 5.2 billion shares, during July.