London Stock Exchange finds broad backing for shorter trading day

A trading screen is seen following the opening of the markets by British Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond and Chinese Vice-Premier Hu Chunhua at the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain June 17, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/Pool

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.

The LSE published feedback from its public consultation on making trading hours more family-friendly to help diversify 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.

Euronext, which is conducting its own consultation on trading hours, is sceptical, with Deutsche Boerse also thought to be lukewarm about the idea.

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.

A small number of respondents suggested a “lunch break” as an alternative to a shorter trading day.

Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Mark Heinrich