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How does share trading work?

Shares are bought and sold on a global network of exchanges. Most public companies list on their local exchange. For example, Australian companies are usually listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), while US companies are usually listed on either the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) or the NASDAQ.

Shares can normally only be bought and sold when the designated stock exchange is open. For example, stocks on the ASX can be bought and sold normally from 10.00 until 16.00 AEDT, while stocks on the NYSE or NASDAQ can be traded from 09.30 until 16.00 EST (01.30 to 08.00 AEDT).

When you use IG’s Share Trading service, you choose the company you’re interested in from the selection in our online platform. You then select the number of shares you’d like to buy (or sell), or the value of the investment you’d like to make.

You can choose to trade shares either ‘at quote’ or ‘on exchange’ in the platform. Use the former, and we’ll show you the best price available from the market makers we use. You’ll then have 15 seconds to confirm your order – if you do, we ‘execute’ the deal for you in the underlying market and your order will be filled immediately.

Use ‘on exchange’, and your trade will be entered into an order book in the underlying market. It will only be filled once a counterparty offer is also entered on that order book. You have a range of order types to choose from here, giving you control over how much of your order needs to be filled, and how long you’d like to hold it for. 

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