The coronavirus outbreak has led to the central bank of India, the RBI to change market timings for the government bond, forex markets, while maintaining the duration of other key banking-related activities.
Accordingly, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) notified that from 7 April, market activities--including the sales and purchase of G-secs-- will commence by 10 AM and end at 2 PM. This is also half of earlier trading window for the instrument that commenced from 9 AM and ended at 5 PM.
"The unprecedented situation created by the COVID-19 outbreak has necessitated lockdowns, social distancing, restrictions on the movement of people and non-essential activities, work from home arrangements and business continuity plans," the RBI said in a statement.
"The resultant dislocations have adversely impacted the functioning of financial markets. Staff and IT resources have been severely affected, posing operational and logistic risks. The thinning out of activity is impacting market liquidity and increasing volatility of financial prices."
As per the statement, in order to minimise these risks and to ensure that market participants maintain adequate checks and supervisory controls while optimising thin resources and ensuring safety of personnel, it has been decided to revise trading hours for various markets.
"These arrangements will become effective from 7 April, 2020 (Tuesday) and continue up to 17 April, 2020 (Friday) (both days inclusive)," the statement added.
All regular banking services for customers, including RTGS, NEFT, e-kuber and other retail payments systems will continue to be available as per extant timing, RBI said