Gazeta.ru reports that the Moscow Exchange prepares to extend its evening trading sessions to match their closing to that of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. According to Gazeta.ru, the Moscow Exchange already decided to extend the evening session of its FORTS derivatives market to 1:15 AM Moscow Standard Time during the winter season and to 0:15 AM during the summer season. Regular trading at the Moscow Exchange currently takes place between 10:00 AM and 6:45 PM, with an additional session for derivatives listed on the FORTS market from 7:00 PM to 11:50 PM.
The Moscow Exchange justifies the move with the necessity to synchronize its trading sessions with the U.S. markets – more specifically, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange – and adjust its working hours to compensate for Russia’s decision not to change the clock to winter time. The consequence of the latter is that the FORTS market currently closes one hour before the CME, depriving the traders of the opportunity to adjust their trades in accordance with the developments at the CME. The proposed extension of the FORTS evening trading session will require some IT upgrades and should be completed by the second quarter of 2013.
The Moscow Exchange also considers shortening its regular trading session from 6:45 PM to 4:00 PM in order to leave more time for the evening session, which would then fully match the schedule of the CME. The exchange declined to comment on this option before it finishes consulting with the traders. That said, some of the brokers are complaining about the idea to extend the evening trading session, as it will increase their costs of personnel; others welcome the move, expecting increased liquidity and better synchronization of trading times of stock exchanges across the country.