Prepare for stock market weirdness when these teams play in the World Cup

Divided attention.
Divided attention.
Image: Reuters/Brendan McDermid
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Even the most casual sports fan can’t help but get sucked in by the World Cup. In 2014, 3.2 billion people watched the matches. This year, even more people are expected to tune in to the tournament in Russia. The pull of World Cup is so strong that it has a noticeable effect on financial market activity as traders—like everyone else—turn their attention from work to play.

A research paper by Michael Ehrmann and David-Jan Jansen, economists from the European Central Bank and the central bank of the Netherlands, tracked the impact of the 2010 and 2014 tournaments on trading volumes. The effects were particularly large when the home team played during market opening hours. For example, in 2014, when a country played during trading hours, volumes dropped by as much as 48% in that country’s stock market. This was even more than during the 2010 tournament, when trading volumes fell by an estimated 36%.

The paper’s authors also found “inattention-driven price effects” during national team matches, as prices on the local stock exchange decoupled from what’s happening in global financial markets at the time.

And that’s not all. Football—fine, soccer—matches get more exciting when someone scores a goal. The research found that a goal scored by either team reduced the number of trades by another 10%. And it takes a little while for the euphoria (or misery, as the case may be) to wear off. It takes between 30 and 60 minutes after the match is over for trading to return to normal.

Here are all the matches in the group stage that will take place on weekdays, with teams highlighted where the game will be played while that country’s main stock market is open. Savvy traders (or algorithms) might look for ways to take advantage of the drop in liquidity and idiosyncratic price movements during these times.

⚽ Thursday 14 June (location, local time)

Russia vs Saudi Arabia (Moscow, 16:00)

⚽ Friday 15 June 

Egypt vs Uruguay (Ekaterinburg, 17:00)

Morocco vs Iran (St. Petersburg, 18:00)

Portugal vs Spain (Sochi, 21:00)

⚽ Monday 18 June 

Sweden vs Korea (Nizhny Novgorod15:00)

Belgium vs Panama (Sochi, 18:00)

Tunisia vs England (Volgograd, 21:00)

⚽ Tuesday 19 June

Colombia vs Japan (Saransk, 15:00)

Poland vs Senegal (Moscow, 18:00)

Russia vs Egypt (St. Petersburg, 21:00)

⚽ Wednesday 20 June 

Portugal vs Morocco (Moscow, 15:00)

Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia (Rostov-On-Don, 18:00)

Iran vs Spain (Kazan, 21:00)

⚽ Thursday 21 June 

Denmark vs Australia (Samara, 16:00)

France vs Peru (Ekaterinburg, 20:00)

Argentina vs Croatia (Nizhny Novgorod21:00)

⚽ Friday 22 June 

Brazil vs Costa Rica (St. Petersburg, 15:00)

Nigeria vs Iceland (Volgograd, 18:00)

Serbia vs Switzerland (Kaliningrad, 20:00)

⚽ Monday 25 June 

Uruguay vs Russia (Samara, 18:00)

Saudi Arabia vs Egypt (Volgograd, 17:00)

Spain vs Morocco (Kaliningrad, 20:00)

Iran vs Portugal (Saransk, 21:00)

⚽ Tuesday 26 June 

Australia vs Peru (Sochi, 17:00)

Denmark vs France (Moscow, 17:00)

Nigeria vs Argentina (St. Petersburg, 21:00)

Iceland vs Croatia (Rostov-On-Don, 21:00)

⚽ Wednesday 27 June 

Korea vs Germany (Kazan, 17:00)

Mexico vs Sweden (Ekaterinburg, 19:00)

Serbia vs Brazil (Moscow, 21:00)

Switzerland vs Costa Rica (Nizhny Novgorod21:00)

⚽ Thursday 28 June

Japan vs Poland (Volgograd, 17:00)

Senegal vs Colombia (Samara, 18:00)

Panama vs Tunisia (Saransk, 21:00)

England vs Belgium (Kaliningrad, 20:00)