London Stock Exchange (LSE)

The London Stock Exchange, or LSE, is one of the world's oldest stock markets, with a rich history dating back to 1698.  The exchange began its life in the coffee houses of 17th century London, when John Castaing began issuing "at this Office in Jonathan's Coffee-house" a list of stock and commodity prices called "The Course of the Exchange and other things."

History of the London Stock Exchange

In 1773, the brokers erected their own building in Sweeting's Alley, with a dealing room on the ground floor and a coffee room above. This location was briefly known as "New Jonathan's," but members soon change the name to "The Stock Exchange."

The Stock Exchange Tower, which was located on Threadneedle Street / Old Broad Street was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1972, and housed the Trading Floor where members would traditionally meet to conduct business.  In July 2004, the London Stock Exchange moved from Threadneedle Street to its present location in Paternoster Square (EC4), close to St Paul's Cathedral, which is still within the "Square Mile" also known as the City of London.

London Stock Exchange Strategy

The stated strategy of the London Stock Exchange is to compete globally in the market for financial transaction services and become the stock market of choice.  The Exchange intends to grow their existing business as well as the reach and scale of their operations.  They intend to do this through business development initiatives, acquisitions, joint ventures, and alliances where appropriate.

Core Business Areas

As it is organized today, the LSE has four core business areas or offerings to the market:

  • Equity Markets:  enabling companies from around the world to raise capital needed to grow by listing securities in a well regulated market.  Access to these markets is provided through the Main Market and AIM.
  • Trading Services:  providing a fast and efficient trading platform, to be used by brokers and firms around the world to buy and sell securities.
  • Market Information Services:  supplying high quality, real-time information and news to the financial community.
  • Derivatives:  expanding to become the world's most efficient and liquid market for equity derivatives.  The EDX London hopes to move the LSE beyond their core equities markets.

Facts and Figures

The following are some of the facts and figures available for the London Stock Exchange, including:

  • There are more than 500 firms worldwide that trade as members of the London Stock Exchange.
  • The LSE claims to be the most international of all stock exchanges, with companies from over 70 countries admitted to trading in their markets.
  • The exchange is arguably the largest stock market in Europe.
  • In August 2018, there were roughly 24.9 million trades, involving $176.9 billion (USD).
  • Approximately 2,500 companies are listed on the London Stock Exchange, with a total market value of $4.15 trillion (USD). (August 2018)

London Stock Exchange Holiday Schedule

The following tables contain the 2018 and 2019 holiday schedules for the London Stock Exchange.

LSE Holiday Schedule 2019

Holiday Date
New Year January 1, 2019
Good Friday April 19, 2019
Easter Monday April 22,2019
Early May May 6, 2019
Spring May 27, 2019
Summer August 26, 2019
Christmas Day December 25, 2019
Boxing Day December 26, 2019

On Christmas Eve (celebrated December 24, 2019) and New Year’s Eve (celebrated December 31, 2019), all market hours for the LSE’s trading services and markets will, unless stated otherwise, commence at their normal scheduled times and will close from 12:30 GMT (13:30 CET).

LSE Holiday Schedule 2018

Holiday Date
New Year January 1, 2018
Good Friday March 30, 2018
Easter Monday April 2, 2018
Early May May 7, 2018
Spring May 28, 2018
Summer August 27, 2018
Christmas Day December 25, 2018
Boxing Day December 26, 2018

On Christmas Eve (celebrated December 24, 2018) and New Year’s Eve (celebrated December 29, 2018), all market hours for the LSE’s trading services and markets will, unless stated otherwise, commence at their normal scheduled times and will close from 12:30 GMT (13:30 CET).

LSE Hours of Operation

Hours of operation / trading occurs on the London Stock Exchange in accordance with the schedule appearing in the following table.

Trade Reporting 07:15 - 07:50
Opening Auction 07:50 - 08:00
Continuous Trading 08:00 - 16:20
VWAP 16:20 - 16:30
Closing Auction 16:30 - 16:35
Order Maintenance 16:35 - 17:00
Trade Reporting Only 17:00 - 17:15

Note:  UK Time is in the Western European Time Zone (WET), which is the same as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).   Summer (Daylight-Saving) Time is observed in UK Time, where the time is shifted forward by 1 hour;  1 hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1).


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