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E*Trade offers after-hours trading online

Online broker E*Trade inks a deal with Instinet to offer E*Trade customers access to after-hours trading online.

Online broker E*Trade today inked a deal with Instinet to offer E*Trade customers access to after-hours trading online.

Under the agreement with Instinet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Reuters Group, E*Trade said its customers will have access to after-hours trading traditionally made available to large institutional investors, fund managers, brokers, and dealers.

E*Trade customers will have longer online access to all U.S. stocks and have the ability to respond to breaking news and late market developments, the company said in a statement.

The agreement with Instinet gives E*Trade customers the longest after-hours trading window, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET, which is twice as long as E*Trade's nearest competitor, the company said. The deal also gives customers online access to trading in both listed NYSE and Nasdaq equities whereas E*Trade said other online brokers are limited to Nasdaq trading only.

Datek Online Holdings is the only network that currently offers evening trading. In June, Datek, the fourth largest online brokerage firm, began offering an extended Nasdaq trading session between 4 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. ET.

Wit Capital and MarketXT, formerly Eclipse Trading, have also announced plans to offer evening trading. Wit Capital, an online investment bank, said it will offer after hours trading through America Online under an agreement that gives Wit exclusive access to the ISP giant's 17 million customers, as reported by Bloomberg.

E*Trade said standard commission rates will apply for its customers. E*Trade will maintain all customer support for the after-hours program. The agreement also offers customers access to after-hours quotes, which are actual orders from Instinet clients, the company said.

The agreement between the two companies is expected to be complete within the next few weeks. Services offered under the deal will be available to customers beginning next month, E*Trade said.

Instinet said it accounts for nearly 20 percent of the Nasdaq daily trading volume and trades approximately 170 million shares of all U.S. equities daily.