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Stock Market Terminologies

Types of Market Sessions & Timings

Stock market in India operates from Monday to Friday. However, there are certain market sessions and timings. They are: 


Pre-Open Market:

The duration of the pre-open market session is from 9:00 AM to 9:15 AM, i.e., 15 minutes before the trading session starts and is conducted on both NSE and BSE. The purpose of the Pre-Open Market is to stabilize heavy volatility due to some major event or announcement that comes overnight before the market actually opens for trading. Normally, retail investors are advised not to participate in this session as stock prices are excessively volatile in this period & may not be indicative of actual opening.


The pre-open market session is split into three phases:


Order Entry Session: From 9:00 AM to 9:08 AM (8 Minutes)

During these first 8 minutes, all the orders are placed to buy and sell stocks. Orders can be modified & cancelled during this time slot.


After this no further orders are accepted.


Order Matching Session: From 9:08 AM to 9:12 AM (4 Minutes)

The next four minutes are allotted for order confirmation & order matching. The opening price of the stock is calculated based on the bid-ask rates received during the order entry session. Orders cannot be modified or cancelled during this period.


Buffer Session: From 9:12 AM to 9:15 AM (3 Minutes)

After completion of order matching, there is a three-minute silent period to facilitate the transition from pre-open session to the normal market. All outstanding orders are moved to the normal market retaining the original time stamp. These three minutes are referred to as the buffer session of the preopen market session. 


Normal Market 

Normal Market aka continuous trading session lasts from 09:15 hours to 15:30 hours, Monday to Friday-five days a week. There are no restrictions regarding order modification or cancellation during this period & one can trade freely. All orders are matched through the order book that quotes the five best bid-ask rates for every security.


Post-closing session

This session begins after the normal market ends at 15:30 hours. The official post-closing session timings are from 15:40 hours to 16:00 hours.


From 15:30 hours to 15:40 hours, the closing prices of stocks are calculated by taking the volume weighted average of the stock prices traded during the last thirty minutes of the trading session i.e., between 03:00 PM and 03:30 PM. 


At 15:40 hours, the post-closing session starts and one can still place buy and sell orders. However, the order confirmation chances are slim since there might not be enough liquidity. Trading takes place at one single price i.e. the closing price of the security. Hence, no stop-loss or limit orders can be placed during this session.


Market Timings 

Trading in Indian Equity Markets takes place on five days a week- Monday to Friday. Each trading session is split into:


A) Pre-open session: The duration of the pre-open market session is from 09:00 hours to 09:15 hours.


B) Regular trading session: The regular trading session is from 09:15 hours to 15:30 hours


C) Block Deal Session Timings: There are two specific timings for block deals:

     1. Morning Block Deal Window: This window shall operate between 08:45 hours-09:00 hours

     2. Afternoon Block Deal Window: This window shall operate between 14:05 hours-14:20 hours


D) The Closing Session:  is held between 15.40 hours to 16.00 hours.

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