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Trading hours of the securities market

1. What are the trading hours of the securities market?

Trading in the securities market is conducted on Monday to Friday (except public holidays) at the following times:
Auction Session  
Pre-opening Session 9:00 am to 9:30 am
   
Continuous Trading Session  
Morning Session 9:30 am to 12:00 noon
Extended Morning Session 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm
Afternoon Session 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
   
Auction Session 4:00 pm to a random closing between 4:08 pm and 4:10 pm
Closing Auction Session

There is no Extended Morning Session and Afternoon Session on the eves of Christmas, New Year and Lunar New Year.

 

2. What is the Pre-opening Session?

The pre-opening session is introduced to determine a fair opening price.

During the pre-opening session, orders are accumulated over a certain period of time and matched at the pre-defined order matching period. Orders are matched in order type, price and time priority (at-auction orders carry a higher matching priority) at the final Indicative Equilibrium Price (IEP). 

The trading system only accepts at-auction orders and at-auction limit orders. The price of an order input into the trading system must not deviate nine times or more from the previous closing price or the nominal price (as the case may be), if available, or is one-ninth or less of that price. The maximum order size is 3,000 board lots per order.

Trading hours during the pre-opening session are as follows:

Order Input Period

9:00 am to 9:15 am

During the order input period, only at-auction orders and at-auction limit orders are accepted. Orders are accumulated and updated in the trading system continuously and may be modified or cancelled.

No cancellation Period

9:15 am to 9:20 am

During the No cancellation period, only at-auction orders and at-auction limit orders are accepted. Modification or cancellation of orders in the system will not be allowed.

Random Matching Period

9:20 am to 9:22 am

During the Random Matching period, only at-auction orders and at-auction limit orders are accepted. Input, modification or cancellation of orders in the system will not be allowed. No order matching will be conducted if Indicative Equilibrium Price (IEP) cannot be determined.

Blocking Period

9:22 am to 9:30 am

During the blocking period, unfilled at auction limit orders will be carried forward to CTS as limit orders. Unfilled at-auction orders will be cancelled.

Order Input Period (9:00am - 9:15am)

In the first period (a 15-minute Order Input Period), at-auction orders and at-auction limit orders within ±15% of the previous closing price can be entered for POS Securities.  Orders can also be amended or cancelled during this period. 

No-cancellation Period (9:15am - 9:20am)

Starting from the second period (a 5-minute No-cancellation Period), the allowable price limits are tightened, and the prices of new at-auction limit orders that aim to be executed in the POS must be between the highest bid & lowest ask recorded at the end of Order Input Period (i.e. recorded at 9:15am). 

In order to build an order book with deeper liquidity after the market opens, passive at-auction limit orders will still be accepted provided that these orders are within ±15% from the previous closing price. However, these passive orders will not be matched during the POS.

Both at-auction orders and at-auction limit orders can be entered during the No-cancellation Period, but no orders can be amended or cancelled.

Random Matching Period (9:20am - up to 9:22am)

In the third period (Random Matching Period which is up to two minutes in length), the order rules from the No-cancellation Period apply, and order matching takes place randomly within the two-minute period.  The Random Matching Period will end immediately upon the start of order matching.

Order Matching (at a random time between 9:20am and 9:22am)

At the end of the Random Matching Period, orders for all POS Securities are matched at the final Indicative Equilibrium Price (IEP).  Order matching is based on order type (at-auction orders first and then at-auction limit orders), price and then time priority.  In cases where the final IEP cannot be established during the POS, no order matching will occur. 

Blocking Period (after order matching - 9:30am)

Once order matching is completed, the Blocking Period starts immediately and continues until 9:30am.  Orders can no longer be entered, amended or cancelled during the Blocking Period.

3. What is the Closing Auction Session?

Closing auction, which allows execution at the closing price, is a trading mechanism commonly used in securities markets across the globe.  During a closing auction, market participants interested in trading at the closing price may input buy and sell orders.  Then their orders interact with each other to form a consensus closing price for each security and orders are executed at that price. 

HKEX’s Closing Auction Session (CAS) is designed to meet the diverse trading needs of investors by enabling trade execution at the securities’ closing prices, which is a key investment mandate of some funds such as index trackers. 

The CAS lasts for about 8 to 10 minutes and consists of a reference price fixing period, an order input period, a no-cancellation period and a random closing period as follows:

 

Full Day Trading

Half Day Trading*

Reference Price Fixing Period 16:00 – 16:01 12:00 – 12:01
Order Input Period 16:01 – 16:06 12:01 – 12:06
No-Cancellation Period 16:06 – 16:08 12:06 – 12:08
Random Closing Period 16:08 – 16:10 12:08 – 12:10
 
 
* Eves of Christmas, New Year and Lunar New Year

During the Reference Price Fixing Period, a reference price, which sets the allowable price limit of the CAS (±5 per cent from the reference price), is calculated for each CAS security.  The reference price is determined by taking the median of 5 nominal prices in the last minute of the Continuous Trading Session (CTS) and the system will take 5 snapshots on the nominal prices at 15-second interval starting from 15:59:00.

During the Order Input Period, at-auction orders and at-auction limit orders within the ±5 per cent price limit can be entered, amended or cancelled for CAS securities.

During the No Cancellation Period, at-auction orders and at-auction limit orders can be entered.  However, the prices of new at-auction limit orders must be between the lowest ask and highest bid recorded at the end of Order Input Period (i.e. recorded at 16:06), and no orders can be amended or cancelled.

During the Random Closing Period, the order rules from the No Cancellation period apply and the market closes randomly within two minutes.

After the random closing period, orders for all CAS securities are matched at the final IEP.  In cases where final IEP cannot be established during the CAS, the reference price will be treated as the final IEP for order matching and will become the closing price of the CAS security.  Order matching is based on order type, price and then time priority.

 

4. Securities are traded in board lots. How many shares are there in one board lot? 

The term "board lot" is commonly used in Hong Kong's securities market to refer to a trading unit. Unlike the Mainland markets where the board lot size is 100 shares, the board lot size of a listed security in Hong Kong is determined by the issuer.

Securities of less than one trading unit (i.e. one board lot) is commonly known as an odd lot in Hong Kong. Odd lots are not accepted by the Exchange’s trading system for auto-matching, but there is a special lot market in the system for odd lots trading. Exchange Participants (EPs) may post their odd lot orders onto a designated screen on the trading system for matching by other EPs. In general, share prices of odd lots are slightly lower than that of the same security in the board lot market due to their lower liquidity. 

Moreover, securities worth less than $0.01 per share (below the lowest price limit in the board lot market) may also be traded in the odd lot market although they are of a quantity equal to one board lot. For example, when the nominal price of a security is at $0.01, the order price in the odd lot market can be as low as $0.001, which is the system’s lowest limit.  However, the order price must not deviate nine times or more from the nominal price or is one-ninth or less of that price. Like the board lot market, the Exchange will provide the market via information vendors with real-time information about the odd lot market to enhance market transparency.


Hong Kong's Public Holidays

Month

Holidays

1

1. The first day of January(1/1)2. Lunar New Year's Day(25/1)3. The third day and  The fourth day of Lunar New Year(27/1, 28/1)

2

N/A

3

N/A

4

1. Ching Ming Festival(4/4)  2. Good Friday(10/4)  3. Easter Monday(13/4)

4. Birthday of the Buddha(30/4)

5

Labour Day(1/5) 

6

Tuen Ng Festival

(25/6)

7

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day(1/7)

8

N/A

9

N/A

10

1. National Day(1/10)  2. The day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival(2/10)3. The day following Chung Yeung Festival(26/10)

11

N/A

12

1. Half-day trading days(24/12)  2. Christmas Day(25/12)  3. The first weekday after Christmas Day(26/12)  4. Half-day trading days(31/12)