SGX reinstates popular lunch break after six years

The SGX Centre 1 on 19 June, 2017.
The SGX Centre 1 on 19 June, 2017.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The lunch break is back at the Singapore Exchange, six years after it was scrapped amid much vexation.

The bourse operator said on Tuesday (July 18) that from Nov 13, the stock market will take a break from noon to 1pm.

Before the lunch break was scrapped in 2011, the market halted between 12.30pm and 2pm.

With this new break time, trading will resume at around the same time as key markets such as Hong Kong.

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The break was scrapped back then in a bid to liven up the market and raise trading volumes, but brokers have said that the move has not been very effective.

The SGX also said on Tuesday that it will be widening bid spreads for certain stocks. The minimum bid size for relevant securities in the $1 to $1.99 price range will be increased to 1 cent from the current 0.5 cent.

This means buyers will have to make bids at intervals of 1 cent instead of 0.5 cent now.

Finally, the SGX said the forced order range for relevant securities will be widened further. The forced order range is the threshold at which trades trigger an "error trade" warning.

This prevents error trades when order prices are keyed in. Orders placed at prices out of the range must be confirmed with a forced key function.

Currently, a trade that is 20 ticks outside of the range in either direction triggers such a warning. This will be widened to 30 ticks.

In 2011, the range had been widened from 10 to 20 ticks in either direction.

"The adjustments are aimed at addressing market conditions while balancing the diverse objectives and interests of different segments of participants in the market ecosystem," the SGX said in a statement.