What is the Timing for Intraday Trading?

An intraday trade has to open and closed on the same day. In the rolling settlement, if it is not closed on the same day, then it goes to compulsory delivery. Hence the timing for intraday trading is from 9.15 am to 3.30 pm daily in the Indian markets. To understand at what time intraday trading starts, you must be clear that intraday orders cannot be placed in the pre-market session. Only CNC orders are placed in the pre-open.

Timing for intraday trading?

Let us first look at the timing for intraday trading from a theoretical perspective. Then we will look at the ideal time to initiate and close intraday trades during the day.

Available time to trade in intraday

While intraday trading theoretically ends at 3.30 pm, you never get to trade till then. So, at what time does intraday trading ends? If you identify your order as an intraday trade then the broker will wait till about 3.15 pm and if the order is still open, then the broker risk management system will automatically close all open intraday positions at the market price. Effectively, you can place and close orders intraday from 9.15 till about 3.10 pm.

Ideal time frames during the day for intraday trading

Intraday trading is like a Catch-22 situation. You need volatility because that is when you get price movement. At the same time, too much volatility will mean that stop losses get triggered and movements are too random. Here is what you should do as an intraday trader in various trading timing blocks.

  • Trading on opening: This is normally the first 30 minutes to 35 minutes of trade. In the Indian context, it normally extends from 9.15 till about 9.45 and is also the time when the markets are volatile. That is because the overnight news and all other triggers get factored into prices in the first half-hour. Should intraday traders play in this frame? It is good if you’re a veteran intraday trader. Some of the seasoned traders use the early volatility to strike bargains, especially if there is a gap up or gap down opening. However, that is for seasoned traders. If you are just about to start intraday trading, you must wait out this volatile period.
  • Trading after volatility subsides: This is the post-opening phase and normally extends from 10 am to around 11.30 am. This is normally the time when prices have settled, the direction of the market is set and even indices have stabilized. Now is the time for opportunities and it is in this phase that your charts, patterns, and news flows will work in the case of an intraday trade. Make the best of this phase.
  • The third phase between 12 noon and 2.30 is normally the more relaxed period of the markets. Here the focus is more on any specific events or news flow like global data flows, the opening of Dow futures, closing of trade in Asian markets, and actual opening of European markets. This is a period you trade only if you have a story or close your positions if you get your price targets.
  • Finally, we come to the last hour of trading extend from 2.30 pm till the close of trade at 3.30 pm. Here your time frame is restricted to just one hour so opening fresh positions is risky. The only exception is when you trade the last hour on F&O expiry based on roll-over data. This is the time to plan your position closure and always do it well before 3.15 pm so that your broker does not force close the position through RMS.

Stock market timing in India

In India, stock market timings extend from 9.00 am to 3.30 pm. There is a pre-open session from 9.00 am to 9.08 am when CNC orders can be placed and this phase is used for price discovery. Here orders are matched in bulk at 9.15 and not on a real-time basis. The normal real-time trading starts at 9.15 am each day.

Trade closes at 3.30 pm but there is a post-close session available after that where the contract price will be the closing price of the day. This window sees limited volumes.

How to start trading in India

You start trading in India but open your trading and Demat account and ensure that your online account is activated. It is always better to start with small trades and get comfortable with the trading process flow.

Frequently Asked Questions Expand All

Auto square off is triggered if the intraday position is not closed out by the trader before 3.15 pm. Auto square normally runs between 3.15 pm and 3.20 pm.

There is nothing like that. Normally, intraday traders prefer to start trading from around 10.00 am once the volatility has settled.

There is a post-close session where such CNC orders can be placed for execution at closing price.

You can trade in pre-open but only for delivery in CNC mode.