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Trading at the LSE – London Stock Exchange

The LSE – London Stock Exchange is based in the UK in the City of London. It is the world’s third largest stock exchange with a market capitalisation of around US$6 trillion, and the biggest in Europe. Founded in 1801, the LSE is located in Paternoster Square, near to St Paul’s Cathedral. It is one of the oldest stock exchanges in the world, with a history dating back over 3 centuries. Today, it is part of the London Stock Exchange Group which was formed in 2007 from a merger between the London Stock Exchange and the Borsa Italiana, the Milan Stock Exchange. The London Stock Exchange has 350 different companies that are from over 50 different countries and its dominant index is the famous FTSE (informally known as the Footsie), or the Financial Times Stock Exchange to give it its full title.

A History of the London Stock Exchange

From the end of the 17th century, organised trading began to take place in London’s coffee houses, starting with prices on a few commodities and auctions taking place during the amount of time it took for a candle to burn. By the middle of the 1700s, there were around 150 stock brokers who gathered at a coffee shop with the purpose of buying and selling shares. It was 1801 when the first formal stock exchange, the London Stock Exchange, was established, and formal memberships were available by subscription. As there was a boom in world economies, so the stocks that were offered increased and the number of memberships sold began to rise. Soon, branches of the stock exchange began to open up in some of the cities that were growing centres of business, including Manchester and Liverpool. Through the course of the 20th century, the London Stock Exchange expanded even more in size, despite the occasional slow down in growth due to the two world wars. During 1945, trading was even moved down into the basement of the building when it was hit by a V2 rocket. The exchange was relocated in 1967 to the Stock Exchange Tower, which became its permanent home until 2004. 1984 saw the compilation of the FTSE 100 Index, which was devised to gauge how prosperous the market was. This index compiled the top 100 companies on the exchange, and is still published today. In 1986, the UK stock market was suddenly deregulated in an event which is now referred to as the Big Bang, and minimum commissions were abolished and electronic trading was now permitted. Individual members were also now allowed to vote and ownership was now permitted of member firms by outside corporations. With a huge influx of computer systems that needed to be installed in the wake of this new move, the London Stock Exchange was once more moved to a new premises in Paternoster Square, which was better able to serve its needs.

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Products Available From the LSE – London Stock Exchange

london stock exchangeFor any company which wishes to list on the London Stock Exchange, there are multiple markets to choose from. The Main Market’s listings are generally reserved for companies that are large and established, whereas the AIM is a market that intends to service small companies that are growing and developing. There is also a Professional Securities Market and a Specialist Fund Market, both of which offer alternative listings.
There are numerous indices on the LSE, including:

The LSE also has secondary markets which include securities trading through covered warrants, bonds, ETFs, ETPs and more.

The London Stock Exchange’s Electronic Platforms

The LSE has many electronic platforms on which different products can be traded. These include:

Trading Times of the LSE

The standard trading sessions on the SETS system of the London Stock Exchange are held from 8 am until 4.30 pm local UK time on every week day with the exception of Sundays, Saturdays and any holiday declared in advance by the exchange. The schedule runs as follows:

Currently, the holidays on which the LSE is not operational, include:

The opening hours for the LSE are quoted in GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) and daylight saving time is observed.

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