Closing times for stock market exchanges vary, but they generally close in the evening—except on holidays. A stock market exchange is a marketplace where stocks are traded throughout the day; it functions as an entity that ensures orderly trading and efficient dissemination of price quotes for stocks on the exchange.

Trading is generally conducted from Monday to Friday each week; the Saudi Stock Exchange is an exception to this rule, as it is open from Sunday to Thursday. Additionally, a small number of exchanges temporarily close during their normal operating hours to allow for a lunch break. This is most commonly seen in Asia's marketplaces, although the London Stock Exchange does also break for lunch, albeit for just two minutes.

Getting access to any of the following markets and exchanges would require a stockbroker. Investopedia's list of the best online stock brokers can give you a great first look at some of the top brokers in the industry.

The World's Major Stock Exchanges by Continent

Below are the 20 largest stock exchanges on Earth by market cap, which have been further grouped by continent.

Trading Hours in the United States and North America

Trading Hours in Asia

Trading Hours in Europe

Trading Hours in South America

Trading Hours in Africa

Trading Hours in Australia/Oceania