Australian Stock ExchangeFinancial Dictionary -> Investing -> Australian Stock Exchange
Historically the ASX began life as several different exchanges located in Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Launceston; however they began to merge operations as early as 1903. A traditionally trading floor and 'outcry' method was used, with trades being written on a chalk board.
Today the ASX operates under a fully electronic system to keep up with modern demand, taking on the click system in 1997. Trading hours on the exchange begin at 7:00 am to 10:00 am for a pre market session and then from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm for the regular trading session. The exchange operates only on weekdays and ceases operation during pre-announced holiday periods.
The prominent market index that tracks the Australian Securities Exchange is the S&P ASX 200, which ranks the top 200 high cap companies. Like most major indexes the S&P ASX 200 is used as a benchmark for the whole Australian market as is the primary quoted figure by news outlets and analysts.
Some of the larger cap companies that trade on the ASX include the BHP Billiton, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the National Australia Bank and the Telstra Corporation.