Amid uncertainty over the lockdown period, the Reserve Bank on Thursday extended the truncated trading hours of debt as well as currency markets till further notice. In order to minimise risks arising due to the unprecedented situation created by COVID-19 outbreak, the trading hours for various RBI regulated markets were earlier amended as 10.00 am to 2.00 pm, effective from April 7 till the close of business hours on April 30, 2020.
In a statement, the Reserve Bank of India said there is a likelihood of extension of lockdown in major cities like Mumbai or easing of the restrictions in a limited manner. “In view of persisting operational dislocations and elevated levels of health risks warranting continuing restrictions on movement, work from home arrangements and business continuity plans, it has been decided that the amended trading hours i e, from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm for RBI-regulated markets…shall be extended till further notice,” it said.
Market trading timings will be reviewed on issuance of directions pertaining to the lockdown from the government, the central bank added. As per the revised timings, the RBI regulated market opens at 10 am instead of 9 am earlier. The closing timings too have been revised to 2 pm for all segment.
While revising the timings earlier this month, the RBI had said the lockdown has adversely impacted the functioning of financial markets. The central bank had amended the market timings in order to minimise risks and to ensure that market participants maintain adequate checks and supervisory controls while optimising thin resources and ensuring safety of personnel.
The RBI regulated markets include, ‘call/notice/term money’, ‘market repo in government securities’, ‘commercial paper and certificates of deposit’, ‘repo in corporate bonds’, ‘government securities’, ‘foreign currency (FCY)/Indian Rupee (INR) trades’ and ‘Rupee Interest Rate Derivatives’. The government has imposed a countrywide lockdown till May 3 with an aim to fight coronavirus pandemic.