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What are Upper Circuit and Lower Circuit in Share Market?

9 Mins 10 Jul 2024 0 COMMENT
Upper circuit and Lower Circuit in share market


In the share market, an "Upper Circuit" simply means a maximum price that can be reached by a stock during a day, and "Lower Circuit" is referred to as the lowest price it can fall to. These limits are set to avoid extreme changes in the stock's price within a single trading day. Trading may halt after reaching the upper circuit of a stock to prevent a further rise in prices. Similarly, whenever it touches the lower circuit, it may stop trading to stop falling further in price. Thereupon, these circuits will help in controlling the volatility of the market and save investors from sudden large losses or huge gains.

What is Upper Circuit?

"Upper Circuit" is the maximum price level stock or security can hit on any trading day. It is a limit that the stock exchange fixes to curb very huge price hikes. In case a stock price touches such an upper limit, then for the rest of the portions of a day, no trading crosses this level, and trading on that particular stock may be on hold for some time.

For example, a share is trading at Rs 100. The stock exchange has arbitrarily or otherwise determined an upper limit of 10% for that security. This means, that on that day, the share can go up to a maximum of Rs 110. In case it touches that price, it has reached its upper ceiling. Trading could be stopped and nobody could buy or sell that share above Rs 110 for the rest of the day.

Upper circuits help protect the market from unexpected, sharp increases in prices. Such increases might arise due to speculation, rumours, or surprising news. Suppose, for instance, a company makes a breakthrough or a big contract, share prices might become sky-high in a very short period. The rise is, therefore, orderly with the help of the upper circuit.

These limits are imposed by stock exchanges to protect stability and fairness in the marketplace, therefore safeguarding investors from excessive risk caused by sudden price changes.

What is Lower Circuit?

Lower Circuit is the lowest price a stock may drop to in a single trading day. This limit is set down by the stock exchange against the extreme fall in the prices of any stock. When the price of a stock reaches this limit, it may not fall further for the remaining part of the day, and trading might be halted in that stock for a while.

Suppose a stock is trading at Rs 100. Lower circuit limit set by the stock exchange is 10%. This means that the stock can fall to a minimum of Rs 90 that day. If the stock price hits Rs 90, this will be the lower circuit. The trading might stop and nobody will be able to buy or sell that stock under Rs 90 for the rest of the day.

Lower circuits would protect the market from potential panic selling, bad news, or market rumours that may result in large and unexpected price declines. For example, a company suddenly reports colossal losses, or a company has a huge scandal on its hand; the stock price of such a company would fall a lot and fall fast. The lower circuit would make sure that this fall is in a controlled manner. 

Why do we have an upper & lower circuit in the share market?

The share market has upper and lower circuits to keep the price of the stock stable. Imagine a guardrail on a winding road. That's similar to how stock market circuits work! They act as safety measures to prevent wild swings in stock prices.

These circuits are also meant to control the excessive price movement of a stock. If a stock price suddenly increases or decreases by a big margin in a short time, it might panic investors, which could result in them making bad decisions. For instance, if the stock price of a company rises too high because of any rumoured reason, an upper circuit could stop trading and give everybody time to verify information. This will avoid overreactions based on false or incomplete information.

The lower circuit helps in preventing excessive drops in prices, which such massive selling might result from the panic created by either bad news or simply rumours relating to the stock market. This prevents excessive selling, and in this way, when the limit is reached, trading is halted to give investors time to reassess the situation and, hence, make a better decision. It helps to reduce fear and maintain confidence in the markets.

The upper and lower circuits also help in checking the market manipulation. In the absence of these limits, a few investors may try to artificially inflate or deflate the prices of stock for their benefit by causing losses to others.

How the Upper Circuit & Lower Circuit Works in Indian Share Markets?

Indian share markets follow both upper circuits and lower circuits to cushion the investors in preventing wild price movements. These circuits limit the extent to which a share can rise or fall in a single trading day.

  • Upper Circuit: This is the highest price that a stock can touch in a day. It is active when a stock has a sudden demand pull because of more buyers holding onto the stock than there are sellers, which may increase the price very rapidly. The certain trading of the scrip may be paused for a small time in an effort to keep this momentum from disturbing the natural price structure and relaxing irrational decision-making.
  • Lower Circuit: On the other hand, the lower circuit indicates the lowest level to which a stock can fall within a trading day. This might take place if the stock loses major demand, causing more sellers than the number of interested buyers to keep offering at a lower price. This can bring about free fall, and to prevent panic selling, and to give investors time to reconsider the situation, trading can be stopped for a while 

Circuit Level



Nifty 50 or Sensex falls/rises by 10%


Nifty 50 or Sensex falls/rises by 15%


Nifty 50 or Sensex falls/rises by 20%

These are actually circuits for temporary measures; after giving a little break, trading starts again generally, and this allows the stock price to look for a more stabilized level. The introduction of upper and lower circuits is a device to put some reasoning into the workings of the stock exchange in order to inculcate some balance and predictability within the system of trading.

What Factors Drives the Upper Circuit Stocks? How to Identify Upper Circuit Stocks?

Now imagine a circumstance where the stock price skyrockets at a very high price and touches the daily limit. Technically, it is known as an upper circuit limit, a feature in the Indian stock market to prevents extreme price fluctuations. What leads to this kind of hyperactive stock?

Let's delve into the most pertinent reasons and how you as an investor can identify such opportunities.

  • Positive performance and news: Good financial numbers with a beat on the analyst's expectations can spark investor confidence with a positive bias towards buying, which can drive the stock to the upper circuit. Similarly, positive company announcements such as new product launches, strategic tie-ups, or favourable industry regulations can ignite the same.
  • Increased Demand from Investors: If more investors are interested in buying a particular stock, it will see an upward trend in its stock price. This might have been due to recent popularity from positive word-of-mouth, inclusion in common, well-followed stock indices, or simply because most investors are suddenly interested in a specific sector.
  • Market Sentiment: When the market is in the overall bullish mode, the sentiment might flow onto individual stocks and start a buying spree, which might take stock to its upper circuit.

How to Spot Potential Upper Circuit Stocks:

  • Financial Analysis: Keep analysing a company's financial statements periodically, especially regarding the profitability, growth, and level of its debt. Sound financial performance may imply potential results, hence creating investor interest.
  • News & Announcements: Stay on top of the company's latest news, industry trends, and any upcoming corporate events that might cause a stock price to move significantly in either direction.
  • Trading Volume & Momentum: Look for tickers trading at higher volumes to solidify the momentum behind the price increase. These could show growing investor interest, leading to further upside.
  • Market Trends & Sectors: Keep an eye on sectors experiencing significant growth or positive developments. Stocks from such sectors may see upper circuit movements often.

Reasons for Implementing Upper Circuits & Lower Circuit in Stocks Market

Major Reasons Why There Are Upper and Lower Circuits:

  • Curbing Wild Market Swings: These circuits curb volatility and wild swings in the market, preventing high price fluctuation.
  • Safety from Manipulation: Lakhs of investors are participants in the stock market. By preventing large range fluctuations in an individual share price, the price changes more rationally—and this deters anyone who wants to shake market manipulation.
  • Market Stability: These circuits keep the current state of the market affairs without the actors shaking investor confidence.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Upper and Lower Circuit in Share Market


  • Stability: The trading halt restores an orderly trading condition and checks for panic among investors.
  • Time for Analysis: It provides investors enough time for digesting news and deciding sensibly.
  • Confidence in the Market: There is no doubt that investors feel complete confidence that the market is fair and reliable for investment.


  • Annoying Delays: This may lead to genuine price annoyances.
  • Liquidity Limitations: Liquidity in a stock can be hindered when there is a limit on the prices, which may in return make it harder to buy or sell the stock whenever there is a volatile market.

These are two important aspects of a stock market: upper and lower circuits. There is but one meaning to their importance: to control the stability of the market from any upcoming volatility. They maintain the integrity of the market, protect investors, and sustain confidence in the trading environment by preventing wild price moves.

Difference Between Upper Circuits and Lower Circuits

Upper circuits act like a ceiling, setting the maximum a stock price can rise in a single day. This helps curb situations where sudden bursts of buying drive prices unreasonably high. Conversely, lower circuits act like a safety net, limiting how much a stock price can fall. This prevents panic selling from causing a downward spiral.

Both circuits have their pros and cons. On the positive side, they prevent market manipulation and crashes. However, they can also limit opportunities for large gains (upper circuits) and force investors to hold onto potentially sinking stocks (lower circuits) 


Upper Circuit

Lower Circuit


Maximum price a stock can reach in a trading day.

Minimum price a stock can fall to in a trading day.

Main Components

Previous day's closing price, pre-set percentage.

Previous day's closing price, pre-set percentage.

Typical Applications

Stock markets

Stock markets


Prevents overbought situations, reduces volatility.

Prevents market crashes, discourages panic selling.


Limits potential for high short-term gains.

May force holding onto potentially declining stocks.

How to Use Circuits on Stocks to Our Advantage?

Using circuits to your advantage involves being aware of when a stock is approaching its upper or lower limit and understanding the reasons behind these movements. By monitoring market news and stock performance, you can anticipate when circuits might be triggered and plan your trades accordingly. This knowledge helps you avoid buying at peak prices or selling during panic drops. Additionally, when a stock hits its upper or lower circuit, it’s an opportunity to reassess your investment strategy, ensuring you make informed decisions rather than reacting impulsively.

5 Key points to remember while using circuits on stocks

  • Monitor news and trends: Be updated with the market news and trends that can affect the prices of stocks. This helps you anticipate circuit triggers.
  • Avoid Peak Prices: If a stock is around its upper circuit, it's always better to wait for the price to stabilize before buying, since peak prices are never profitable.
  • Reassess on Drops: When the share hits the lower circuit, then re-assess your investment, but don't sell out of panic; just think whether this price cut is for a temporary phase or a strong view of some others.
  • Set Alerts: Use trading platforms to set price alerts on stocks that are close to their circuits. This way, you can remain informed of any major movement and react to it in good time.
  • Diversify Investments: Do not keep the money in one stock itself. Proper diversification of one's portfolio shall make one safe from the risks related to hitting circuit limits.

How to Respond When a Stock Hits an Upper Circuit or Lower Circuit

The stock market is a rollercoaster and sometimes, the price might just skyrocket or nosedive, causing what is termed an upper circuit or lower circuit. Here's how to deal with the situation:

Stay Calm: Never panic. After all, circuit limits are there to stop the constant price increase.

Upper Circuit: This means the stock is not open to going any higher. Well, here's what you can do:

  1. Hold: If you are satisfied with your position for now, just hold on and hope that the stock price will correct in the next trading sessions.
  2. Sell Order (Optional): You can book a sell order at the current market price, but it may not get executed if there are no sellers for the stock.


Lower Circuit: This implies a very harsh falling. Here you have three options:

  1. Hold: If you still believe that the share has the potential in the long run you can hold onto it and pray for a bounce-back.
  2. Scrutinize: Go through the various news and the company performance it might show that the fall is just a temporary phenomenon and there is no in-depth issue presenting itself.
  3. Sell Order (Optional): Similar to the upper circuit, placing a sell order might not be successful right away.


The stock market can be dynamic, with prices fluctuating wildly. The circuits, both upper and lower, are preventive mechanisms that protect the system from extreme price variations within a trading day. The upper circuits put the maximum limit on how high a stock can climb, protecting irrational price hikes due to huge buying. The lower circuits then act as a safety net on how much stock prices can fall and prevent panic selling. Both these circuits have their advantages, but both of them, in some or the other way, are provided with some sort of drawbacks. It helps the investor understand both circuits and confidently invest in the stock market, even facing its fluctuations. Remember, diversifying your money is the key to risk management in the stock market.