Special Trading Sessions in India: Everything You Need to Know

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In the fast-paced world of stock markets, timing can be everything. Imagine having an extra window of opportunity to make trades, react to global events, or ensure your strategies are perfectly aligned. This is where special trading sessions come into play, offering traders and investors unique opportunities to engage with the market outside regular hours. Whether it's accommodating significant announcements or testing the robustness of trading systems, these sessions are pivotal. Let's explore the intricacies of special trading sessions in India, understand why they are conducted, and how you can make the most of them.

What are Special Trading Sessions?

Special trading sessions are additional trading periods scheduled outside the usual market hours. In India, the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE) conduct these sessions on specific occasions such as weekends, holidays, or extended hours during regular trading days. These sessions are designed to meet various needs, ranging from market adjustments to disaster preparedness.

Why are Special Trading Sessions Conducted?

  • Market Adjustments

Special trading sessions allow for market adjustments during significant economic events or announcements. This ensures that investors can promptly react to new information without waiting for the next regular trading session.

  • Technical Upgrades

Sometimes, exchanges need to test new trading systems or conduct maintenance. Special sessions allow these technical upgrades without disrupting regular trading hours.

  • Special Occasions

Certain culturally significant occasions, like the 'Muhurat Trading' during Diwali, mark special trading periods symbolizing prosperity and wealth.

  • Disaster Preparedness

Special trading sessions are also conducted to evaluate the exchanges' ability to handle major disruptions. For instance, session held on 18th May, 2024 focused on testing the preparedness of exchanges to manage any glitches or disruptions as part of the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI’s) framework for the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and Disaster Recovery Site (DRS) of Market Infrastructure Institutions (MII).

Special Trading Session for Disaster Preparedness

From time to time, domestic stock markets open on weekends as the BSE and NSE conduct special live trading sessions to test their preparedness for handling any glitches or disruptions. These sessions are conducted as part of SEBI’s framework for the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and Disaster Recovery Site (DRS) of Market Infrastructure Institutions (MII).

A disaster recovery site (DRS) is a backup location where a stock exchange can temporarily shift its operations in case of major disruptions. Relocating to the DRS ensures the continuation of trading activities and the preservation of data and transaction integrity. According to SEBI guidelines, the DRS should ideally be located in a different seismic zone than the Primary Data Centre (PDC) and be at least 500 kilometers away to avoid both sites being affected by the same disaster.

Benefits of Special Trading Sessions

  • Flexibility

Traders gain additional opportunities to trade outside regular hours, allowing for more strategic planning and execution.

  • Immediate Reaction

Investors can react instantly to significant announcements or events, reducing the risk of overnight market volatility.

  • Testing New Systems

Exchanges can test new systems or updates during these sessions, ensuring a smoother and more reliable trading experience during regular hours.

  • Cultural Significance

Sessions like Muhurat Trading hold cultural and traditional significance, fostering a sense of community among traders and investors.

  • Disaster Preparedness

Conducting special sessions ensures that exchanges are ready to handle disruptions, maintaining market stability and investor confidence.

Upcoming Special Trading Sessions in India

Special trading sessions are typically announced by the exchanges a week or two in advance, providing traders ample time to prepare. These sessions can occur for various reasons, such as testing disaster recovery systems, etc.

One of the most anticipated special trading sessions is Muhurat Trading, which is held around Diwali, usually in November. This session is marked by a brief trading period considered auspicious by the trading community. Other sessions might be scheduled periodically throughout the year, especially after significant economic announcements or for technical upgrades.

To stay informed about upcoming special trading sessions, it’s essential to regularly check official announcements from the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE).

Key Aspects of Special Trading Sessions

  • Circuit Limits: During special trading sessions, all securities, including those in the Futures and Options (F&O) segment, will have upper and lower circuit limits set at 5%. Securities that typically have a 2% circuit limit will retain their 2% limit. These limits are enforced for the entire day and will carry over to the next session if not hit.
  • Futures Contracts: All futures contracts will operate within a 5% price range. Unlike regular trading, stocks in the F&O segment and futures contracts will not have adjustable price bands during these sessions; the circuit limit will remain fixed even if it is reached.

How to Prepare for Special Trading Sessions

  • Stay Informed: Regularly check announcements from BSE and NSE regarding special sessions. Subscribing to their newsletters or following them on social media can keep you updated.
  • Plan Ahead: Given the potential for high volatility, having a clear strategy in place can help you navigate the concentrated trades during special sessions.
  • Review Past Sessions: Analysing past special trading sessions can provide insights into market behaviour, helping you better anticipate potential trends and make informed decisions.
  • Use Limit Orders: Using limit orders instead of market orders during high volatility can help you control the price at which your trades are executed.


Special trading sessions in India provide unique opportunities for traders and investors to react to significant events, align with global markets, and engage in culturally significant trading practices. Staying informed and prepared can help you make the most of these sessions, enhancing your trading strategy and potentially maximizing your returns. Keep an eye on announcements from BSE and NSE to stay updated on upcoming special trading sessions and plan your trades accordingly.

Investing during special trading sessions requires careful planning and a clear understanding of market dynamics. With the right approach, these sessions can be a valuable addition to your trading strategy, offering flexibility and opportunities to react swiftly to market changes.

Disclaimer: Investments in the securities market are subject to market risk, read all related documents carefully before investing.

This content is for educational purposes only. Securities quoted are exemplary and not recommendatory.

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