The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has found strong support for shorter trading hours after a public consultation with the industry.
Feedback from the LSE’s public consultation found a “significant majority” of respondents thought a reduction of market hours “could lead to improvements in diversity and wellbeing”.
A small number suggested a “lunch break” as an alternative to slashing trading hours. The current hours are from 8am to 4.30pm, but most respondents said they’d prefer a working day of 9am to 4pm.
The respondents – which included investment managers, brokers and banks – did say that for any benefit to be fully realised, there would have to be “harmonisation across European exchanges and other trading venues” given the pan-European nature of many trading roles.
Other European exchanges are currently consulting and considering their position on trading hours. The LSE said: “We await their public findings as these will be an important factor in considering any potential changes to our trading hours, given the indicated preference for harmonisation.”
The majority didn’t consider the current overlap with Asian market hours to be as important as that with US markets.
The London Stock Exchange launched a consultation on trading hours in December after industry bodies said a change would improve workplace culture and diversity.
Galina Dimitrova, director for Investment and Capital Markets at the Investment Association said: “Shortening trading hours has the potential to improve wellbeing and diversity on our trading floors and ultimately to deliver better outcomes for our clients.”
“The fact that the majority of respondents to the LSE’s consultation on market trading hours agree, adds further weight to the argument that it is time to reduce trading hours.”
Retail investors broadly agreed on a later opening time, to allow for a better digestion of results and news overnight, but there were mixed views on an earlier closing time.