London Stock Exchange finds broad backing for shorter trading day

LONDON (Reuters) – There is broad backing in stock markets for cutting the trading day by 90 minutes in a coordinated way across European exchanges, the London Stock Exchange said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville

The LSE published feedback from its public consultation on making trading hours more family-friendly to help recruit more women to trading desks and improve mental wellbeing.

“There was also widespread consensus from respondents that any change to trading hours would ideally require a broadly aligned approach across European exchanges and other trading venues,” the LSE said in a statement.

“Without this harmonisation, the goals of improved diversity and wellbeing would be harder to achieve, given the pan-European nature of many trading roles in the financial industry.”

Euronext is still conducting its own consultation on trading hours and has questioned the rationale of a “London proposal”. Deutsche Boerse had no comment on Monday.

The current European trading day is 0800-1630 UK time, longer than in Asia or Wall Street, and most market participants preferred a 0900-1600 trading day, with a minority calling for no change, according to the LSE.

The stock exchange will go back to market participants to see whether working from home since March due to coronavirus lockdowns has changed how they view trading hours.

Keith Temperton, a sales trader at Tavira Securities, said that without real pre-market and after-hours trading like on Wall Street, cutting European hours would be a step backwards.

The Federation of European Securities Exchanges, which had no immediate comment, is asking members if there is support for cutting hours, though some are thought to be leery.

The LSE is not a member of FESE, and Britain’s departure from the European Union could also make aligning a cut in hours more difficult.

The LSE said it would scrap intraday auctions after most respondents found they don’t attract a broad range of liquidity.

Additional reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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