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Optiver welcomes Euronext position on market hours

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Optiver believes Europe should capitalise on its uniquely advantageous geographical location by extending the opening hours of European equity exchanges, maximising overlap with Asian and North American markets. This will increase Asian and US investors’ interest in European markets and securities, boost local retail participation in Europe’s equities markets, and match global industry trends.

“As Optiver, we favour developments that help improve the market and ensure it remains fair, transparent, active and liquid. Healthy markets with a range of engaged parties benefit society as a whole, as they facilitate more efficient capital allocation and lower the costs of raising funds and investing,” says Edward Monrad, Head of European Equity Market Structure at Optiver Europe.

“All parties within the European Capital Markets Union, from small retail traders to large institutions, stand to benefit from fully leveraging Europe’s geographical advantage and the increased trading interest and liquidity that extended hours would create. A majority of market participants already value the current overlap with US hours, and with Asian markets certain to continue growing in coming decades, now is the time to take a long-term view and lengthen European trading to overlap with Asian business hours. Retail brokers also see strong client demand for trading outside working hours.”

Optiver proposes that European exchanges open earlier and close later while introducing a lunch break in the middle. Potential downsides, such the impact on the well-being of some people in the financial industry, can be mitigated by adopting a midday market pause. Such a break lends itself to part-time or shift work, which would improve the overall work/life balance of traders and could also result in additional employment opportunities.

Some parties have suggested shortening European market hours. The company believe this would exacerbating the European Capital Markets Union’s already declining global competitiveness relevance during a period when the region can least afford it.

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