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Largest stock exchanges

The world's largest stock exchanges handle trillions of dollars in assets from every sector in the world.

Together, the 5 biggest stock exchanges in the world have a market capitalization of more than US$48 trillion (around £36.3 trillion). They are home to the world’s best-known companies such as Apple, HSBC and Walt Disney. Find out how you can invest in the world’s largest stock exchanges.

What is market capitalization?

Market capitalization (often referred to as “market cap”) is the total value of a company’s outstanding stocks. It’s pretty easy to calculate – it’s just the total outstanding stocks multiplied by the market value of one stock.

To find the market cap of a stock exchange, you add up the market capitalization of all of the companies in the exchange. The 2 largest stock exchanges have market capitalizations of over US$10 billion.

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)

The New York Stock Exchange is the world’s largest stock exchange by market capitalization. Its market capitalization is US$25.62 trillion (around CAD $30.93 trillion). It’s home to some of the most recognizable brands in the world such as Twitter, Spotify and Walt Disney.

The NYSE opening hours are 9:30am to 4pm ET, which is 2:30pm to 9pm GMT.

Invest in the NYSE


NASDAQ (sometimes referred to as Nasdaq) is the world’s second largest stock exchange by market capitalization. It started as the world’s first electronic stock market as a quotation system. NASDAQ’s market capitalization is USD $19.51 trillion (around CAD $23.69 trillion). There are some major well-known companies on NASDAQ, including the “FAANG stocks”, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet (Google).

The NASDAQ exchange opening hours are from 9:30 am to 4pm ET, which is 2:30pm to 9pm GMT.

Invest in the Nasdaq

Hong Kong Exchanges (HKEX)

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing manages The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK), Hong Kong Futures Exchange Limited (HKFE) and the London Metal Exchange (LME). The HKEX is the third largest stock exchange by market capitalization with a total market cap of HKD$47.52 trillion (approximately USD$6.12 trillion or CAD$7.38 trillion).

The exchange opens at 9:00am and closes at 4:00pm based on Hong Kong Standard Time, which is GMT+8. Pre-opening trading occurs between 9:00am and 9:30am. The morning trading session takes place between 9:30am and 12:00pm, and the extended morning session is between 12:00am and 1:00pm. Afternoon trading takes place between 1:00pm and 4:00pm. The closing auction ends sometime between 4:08pm and 4:10pm.

Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE)

Shanghai Stock Exchange is one of China’s stock exchanges. It has a market capitalization of USD$6.56 trillion (around CAD$7.92 trillion). The bad news is that if you’ve got dreams of investing in the Shanghai Stock Exchange, you can’t. If there’s a company on the Shanghai Stock Exchange that you want to invest in, then it may also be traded on one of the US exchanges.

The opening hours for the Shanghai Stock Exchange are 9:30am to 3pm in the Shanghai time zone which is GMT+08:00. It takes a lunch break from 11:30am to 1pm.

In UK time it is open from 1:30am to 7am GMT with a lunch break from 3:30am to 5am.

Japan Exchange Group (JPX)

Japan Exchange Group is a corporation that manages several exchanges, including the Tokyo Stock Exchange and Osaka Stock Exchange. These exchanges merged in 2011, which puts Japan Exchange Group the third largest stock exchange by market capitalization. It has a total market cap of US$6.54 trillion (around CAD$7.90 trillion).

Japan Exchange Group’s opening hours are from 9am to 3pm JST with a lunch break between 11:30am and 12:30pm which is from midnight to 6am GMT with a lunch break between 2:30am and 3:30am. You’ll definitely need to be an early bird to get the worm.

Compare investment services

To invest in the biggest stock exchanges in the world you’ll need an investment broker.

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List of the biggest stock exchanges in the world

These are the biggest stock exchanges in the world by market capitalization.

Stock exchangeShort nameMarket capitalization
New York Stock Exchange (US)NYSEUS$25.62 trillion
Nasdaq (US)NASDAQUS$19.51 trillion
Hong Kong ExchangesHKEXUS$6.76 trillion
Shanghai Stock Exchange (China)SSEUS$6.56 trillion
Japan Exchange GroupJPXUS$6.54 trillion
  1. Statista: Largest stock exchange operators worldwide as of February 2021 by market capitalization of listed companies, Published May 11, 2021
Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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