Stock markets to be open on Budget day

Stock markets will be open on the Budget day, February 28, and trading would be conducted during normal hours from 9 AM to 330 PM, despite it being a Saturday.

Capital markets regulator Sebi on Friday asked the stock exchanges including, the BSE and the NSE, to keep the markets open on Budget day, following requests made in this regard.

This is probably the first time in many years that the Union Budget is being presented on a Saturday. The stock markets are generally closed on Saturdays and Sundays, except for special circumstances.

As Budget contains several market-moving announcements, market participants, including stock exchanges, had requested the Sebi and the government to keep markets open on February 28, when Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will present his full Budget.

Earlier in the day, Sebi Chairman U K Sinha said the regulator had received requests in this regard.

Stock markets have always been open on normal timings since budget presentation timings were changed from 5 pm to 11 am in 2001.

The BSE Sensex had witnessed drop on the Budget days in the past three years (2012, 2013 and 2014).

Last year, the Sensex had closed 0.28 per cent lower at 25,372.75 points, while the Nifty had ended 0.23 percent down at 7,567.75 points.

In 2013, the BSE Sensex fell 290.87 points (1.52 per cent) to end at 18,861.54, hitting its lowest close since November 27, 2012.

Similarly, in 2012, the Sensex had fallen by 210 points (1.2 per cent) to close at 17,466. During trade, the index fell nearly 250 points.

However, in 2011, the BSE Sensex had ended up 0.69 per cent at 17,823.40 points after rising as much as 3.4 per cent after the budget was unveiled.

The BSE Sensex rose as much as 2.6 percent after the budget before paring gains, in 2010.

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