Amid nation-wide lockdown to arrest the spread of coronavirus, commodity exchanges-the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) and the Indian Commodity Exchange (ICEX) will reduce their trading hours from March 30- April 14, 2020. The exchanges will open at their usual time of 9 am but end their trading activity at 5 pm instead of the otherwise 11 pm.
In a circular, the MCX said,"In view of the novel COVID-19 virus pandemic outbreak and the nation-wide lockdown of 21 days in the country and pursuant to discussions with SEBI, it has been decided to revise trading timings, from Monday, March 30, 2020, to Tuesday, April 14, 2020".
Also, the exchange said that pre-opening session for cancelling orders having GTC/ GTD validity would begin 15 minutes prior to 9 am. Besides there will no evening trading session on April 2, April 6 and April 14. "Further, there will be no change in the staggered delivery tender period for any commodity," the exchange said.
"The recent step by SEBI to keep commodity markets open only till 5 pm would have bought great relief to brokers and exchanges as they can now shut their offices by 5 pm, although brokers associations are calling for a complete shutdown of the exchanges till the lockdown," Ravindra Rao, VP- Head Commodity Research at Kotak Securities told a leading online business portal.
On March 24, the PM announced a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the deadly virus for 21 days.