How to trade after hours on Interactive Brokers?

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If you want to react fast to news and developments on the American market or if you live outside the United States, after hours trading is what you need.

The extended hours and Overnight Trading services at Interactive Brokers (IBKR) allow you to stay on top of your trading game. Using these features, you will be able to place orders before the market opens and after it closes, right from your Interactive Brokers account.

You can trade outside regular market hours at IBKR, follow my step-by-step guide
Hikmatjon
Hikmatjon Tolibjonov
Regulation • Fighting Scams • Safety

As a brokerage expert, I use and test a variety of brokers worldwide by doing real trades. I appreciate the flexibility that after hours trading at Interactive Brokers gives me:

  • IBKR Pro account holders have the widest time slot for extended-hours trading.
  • You can set trading hours for each trade case-by-case or through global configuration settings.
  • You can trade a wide range of assets outside market hours at IB without any extra cost.

  • Explore our detailed Interactive Brokers review for an in-depth look at trading features.

IBKR Pro account holders have the widest time slot for extended-hours trading

Extended-hours trading happens outside standard market hours, covering both premarket and after-hours sessions. As a trader, it allows you to respond to news and events that unfold when regular markets are closed. The popularity of overnight trading surged in 2023 when several brokers, including Interactive Brokers, rolled out this feature.

Every trader with an Interactive Brokers account has access to after hours trading service. Depending on your IB account type, you will have different schedules available for after hours trading. IBKR Pro account holders have a wider time slot for extended-hours trading than those with an IBKR Lite account.

After hours trading schedules by IB account type
Account type Premarket trading start time After-hours trading start time After-hours trading end time
IBKR Pro accounts 4:00 AM EST (9:00 AM GMT+1) 4:00 PM EST (9:00 PM GMT+1) 8:00 PM EST (1:00 AM GMT+1)
IBKR Lite accounts 7:00 AM EST (12:00 PM GMT+1) 4:00 PM EST (9:00 PM GMT+1) 8:00 PM EST (1:00 AM GMT+1)

Data updated on May 18, 2024

Interactive Brokers also offers an Overnight Trading feature for certain US stocks and ETFs. The service is active from 8:00 p.m. ET to 3:50 a.m. ET, Sunday through Friday. Trades made in this period are dated to the following trading day. Importantly, overnight trading aligns with the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) holiday schedule. This means if the NYSE is closed on the following day, Interactive Brokers will not hold an overnight trading session the night before.

A word of caution: liquidity tends to significantly decrease during extended hours, which may lead to increased volatility. To boost liquidity, IB offers its own IBEOS Alternative Trading System (ATS) and is connected to the Blue Ocean ATS.

Set trading hours for each trade case-by-case or through global configuration settings

By default, when you place an order, it is executed during the standard trading hours. If you want your trades at IB executed outside regular market hours as well, you will need to change the Regular Trading Hours (RTH) setting. You can do this either on a case-by-case basis before placing a particular order, or by adjusting global configurations for all your orders.

IBKR TWS - case-by-case configuration

For individual orders on IB’s Trader Workstation (TWS), you can change the RTH setting by clicking the 'DAY' field in the order panel before placing the order. A drop-down menu will appear, where you can select 'Fill outside RTH.' There are other options as well, allowing you to align the execution of your order with your trading strategy.

Changing the RTH setting in IB’s Trader Workstation

IBKR TWS - global configuration

If you want after hours execution to apply to all your orders (where applicable), you can change the global settings in TWS by following these steps:

  • Select the File menu at the top of the main TWS screen, then choose Global Configuration.
  • Expand the Presets section by clicking the '+' next to it.
  • Select the product type (i.e. Stocks or ETFs) by clicking on it.
  • In the Primary Order section, ensure the Order Type is set to Limit Order (LMT). Note that this setting is not applicable if Market Order (MKT) or Stop Order (STP) is the default order type.
  • In the Timing section, check 'Allow order to be activated, triggered, or filled outside of regular trading hours'.
  • Click Apply, then OK to save these settings.

IBKR Mobile - case-by-case configuration

You can change both individual order settings and default RTH settings in IB's mobile applications for Android and iOS devices.

Here is how you can change the RTH settings for individual orders in the IB mobile app:

  • In the Mobile Order Ticket, there's a 'Time-in-force' line item for Android users. Tap the small arrow on the right to expand this section.
  • You'll find an 'Outside RTH' option with a toggle switch, which can be set to ON (to fill outside RTH) or OFF (to restrict to RTH).
  • You can also toggle 'Overnight Trading' on or off directly in the Order Ticket.
RTH setting for individual orders in the IB app

This feature is also available in the iOS version, where you can toggle 'Outside RTH' on or off in the Order Ticket.

IBKR Mobile - global configuration

Here is how you can adjust default RTH settings in the mobile app:

  • Access the menu (More) and select 'Setting'
  • From the list select 'Trading Settings'
  • Choose the product type for which you want to edit the Presets
  • Tap on 'Timing' and then toggle the 'Outside RTH' option on or off as per your requirement
  • To save your changes, simply tap the back button, and these settings will be updated in the Cloud.

Trade a wide range of assets outside market hours at IB without extra fees

Interactive Brokers clients can trade a diverse range of asset types during extended trading hours, including stocks, ETFs, and stock options. Clients outside the US can also trade CFDs (Contracts for Difference) outside regular hours. The service is free of charge, which is pretty sweet.

In addition to the extended trading hours, the Overnight Trading feature applies to over 10,000 US stocks and ETFs. Note that fractional trading is not available during these sessions.

Explore our detailed Interactive Brokers review for an in-depth look at trading features

BrokerChooser’s IBKR review examines over 600 data points to provide a balanced view and an account of our first-hand experience with IB services. We evaluate key aspects like fees, safety, ease of transactions, and platform usability with real accounts and funds. This rigorous process ensures that our insights are practical and relevant for traders.

For a comprehensive understanding of what Interactive Brokers offers, read our detailed review. You can also use our Compare Broker tool to see how Interactive Brokers stacks up against other brokers worldwide based on various criteria. Our evaluations are based on real experiences and focused on user-centric analysis.

FAQs

Is market data available in the extended-trading hours on Interactive Brokers?

Market data is freely available during the extended hours and US overnight trading session.

Who is eligible to trade in the US overnight trading session?

All traders holding accounts with Interactive Brokers have the opportunity to participate in the US overnight trading session.

Is fractional trading allowed overnight on Interactive Brokers?

Fractional trading is not permitted in the US overnight trading session.

What is the commission when trading during the US overnight session?

For IBKR Pro accounts, the commission is the same as during regular trading hours. IBKR Lite accounts are charged the standard fixed rate.

What are the pros and cons of overnight trading?

Advantages of overnight trading:

  • Reaction to market news: You can react to market news that occur outside trading hours (e.g. company earning reports).
  • Trade in your timezone: you can conveniently trade whenever you want.

Disadvantages of overnight trading:

  • Higher volatility: Liquidity tends to significantly decrease outside regular market hours, which may lead to increased volatility.
  • How does IBKR mitigate this risk? To boost liquidity, IB offers its own IBEOS Alternative Trading System (ATS) and is connected to the Blue Ocean ATS.
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Author of this article

Hikmatjon Tolibjonov

Investments • Safety • Stock Market

As an Investment Analyst at BrokerChooser, I find great joy in utilizing my analytical talents to offer data-driven insights that demystify the world of investments. My studies as a master's student in International Relations at Eötvös Loránd University have deepened my grasp of the global forces shaping financial markets. I am excited about the opportunity to employ my skills and expertise in empowering investors, providing them with the clarity and the assurance they deserve.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology.

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