The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday announced changes in timings for currency and debt markets with effect from April 7 due to the outbreak of coronavirus. Currency and debt markets will open at 10:00 am and close at 2:00 pm till April 17, RBI said in an official notification.
“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 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,” the central bank said in the notification.
Currently, currency and debt markets open at 9:00 am and close at 5:00 pm.
The changes in timings of currency and debt markets come after the timings of commodity derivatives were revised last month. Leading stock exchanges BSE and NSE advanced the closing timing for commodity derivatives segment to 5 pm (from mid-night).
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India has said that all banking services such as RTGS, NEFT, e-kuber and other retail payments systems will continue to be available as per extant timings.
The country entered the tenth day of a 21-day nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Fifty-six people have so far died after being infected by the novel coronavirus, the Union Health Ministry said, with six of those deaths being reported in a 24-hour period.