Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing announced on Aug. 11 a three-phase plan to extend the trading hours for its equity index futures and options. The plan, which is still pending regulatory approval, was developed after a consultation on the proposed changes showed "strong support" from a majority of respondents, said Roger Lee, the exchange's joint chief operating officer. In November, the existing after-hours trading period will be extended to 1:00 a.m. from 11:45 p.m., but only for equity index futures. In the second phase, which is planned for the first half of 2018, equity index options will be included. In the third phase, which is planned for the fourth quarter of 2018, the after-hours session will be extended to 3:00 a.m. Exchange officials said the extension will increase the overlap with markets in Europe and North America and give local investors more time to respond to market-moving information originating in other parts of the world.