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Lesson #5: Forex Market Hours

This section of the website will help clarifying the concepts of Forex Market Hours and Forex Trading Sessions.

One of the main advantages of Forex markets is that they are open during all working weeks – from Sunday 10:00 P.M (GMT) to Friday 10:00 P.M (GMT). Now it is logical to ask yourself a question – What times are the best for trading within Forex Market Hours?

Generally talking, the most interesting Forex Trading times are between the opening of the London stock exchange begins its activity, around 8 A.M. (GMT), and the closing of the american market, which takes place around 10 P.M. (GMT). The most hectic time in the Forex market is when the London stock exchange overlaps with the american market between 1 P.M. (GMT) to 4 P.M. (GMT). These are the times which can be considered as the most liquid or when the most Forex traders are trading in the markets. If your interest is to do day-trading this the way you should use to make trades.

Forex Trading Sessions sorted by relevance:

Forex Trading Sessions

There are four trading sessions in the Forex market, which take place every working day when the Forex markets are open: The Pacific trading session, the Asian trading session, the London trading session and the New York trading session.

London trading session

The London trading session starts about 8 A.M. GMT and ends at around 4 P.M. GMT. The most active Forex currencies during this time frame are GBP, EUR and USD

New York trading session

The New York trading session starts at about 1 P.M. GMT and ends at about 10 P.M. GMT. The most active Forex currencies during this time frame are EUR, GBP,AUD, JPY, and USD.

Asian trading session

Asian trading session very often is the quietest session of the Forex market. All currencies move very slow and it’s not a very good time to day-trade. The only real Forex currency in this period, which has newsworthy activity, is the JPY and the activity is slow until the main financial events happen.

Pacific trading session

Pacific trading session begins when Australian and the New Zealand markets open. This is one of the quietest sessions for Forex trading. Majority of traders’ activity is focusing on the currencies: AUD, NZD, USD.

The best times for Forex trading within Forex Market Hoursare during the London and New York trading sessions overlap, no matter of your trading methods. Forex market is full of very active participants during these times and the Forex pairs are really moving. For the most part, even the biggest news from the different parts of the world come out during these hours. Trading during these times can be very profitable since the Forex market is making important moves and therefore it can be your best chance to score fast profits.

Forex Trading Sessions

Now that you know what forex is, why you should trade it, and who makes up the forex market, it’s about time you learned when you can trade.

It’s time to learn about the different forex trading sessions.

Yes, it is true that the forex market is open 24 hours a day, but that doesn’t mean it’s always active the entire day.

You can make money trading when the market moves up, and you can even make money when the market moves down.

BUT you will have a very difficult time trying to make money when the market doesn’t move at all.

And believe us, there will be times when the market is as still as the victims of Medusa.

This lesson will help determine when the best times of the day are to trade.

Forex Market Hours

Before looking at the best times to trade, we must look at what a 24-hour day in the forex world looks like.

The forex market can be broken up into four major trading sessions: the Sydney session, the Tokyo session, the London session, and Pipcrawler’s favorite time to trade, the New York session. Below are tables of the open and close times for each session:

Spring/Summer in the U.S. (March/April – October/November)

Sydney Close – 4:00 PM

Tokyo Close – 6:00 PM

London Close – 4:00 PM

New York Close – 5:00 PM

Fall/Winter in the U.S. (October/November – March/April)

Sydney Close – 4:00 PM

Tokyo Close – 6:00 PM

London Close – 4:00 PM

New York Close – 5:00 PM

Actual open and close times are based on local business hours, with most business hours starting somewhere between 7-9 AM local time.

Open and close times will also vary during the months of October/November and March/April as some countries (like the United States, England and Australia) shift to/from daylight savings time (DST).

The day of the month that a country shifts to/from DST also varies, confusing us even more. And Japan doesn’t observe daylight savings, so thank you Japan for keeping it simple.

Now, you’re probably looking at the Sydney Open and wondering why it shifts two hours in the Eastern Timezone.

You’d think that Sydney’s Open would only move one hour when the U.S. adjusts for standard time, but remember that when the U.S. shifts one hour back, Sydney actually moves forward by one hour (seasons are opposite in Australia).

You should always remember this if you ever plan to trade during that time period.

Also take notice that in between each forex trading session, there is a period of time where two sessions are open at the same time.

During the summer, from 3:00-4:00 AM ET, for example, the Tokyo session and London session overlap, and during both summer and winter from 8:00 AM-12:00 PM ET, the London session and the New York session session overlap.

Naturally, these are the busiest times during the trading day because there is more volume when two markets are open at the same time.

This makes sense because, during those times, all the market participants are wheelin’ and dealin’, which means that more money is transferring hands.

Now let’s take a look at the average pip movement of the major currency pairs during each forex trading session.

Market Hours

The Forex market is open 24 hours a day, and it is important to know which is the most active trading periods in which you can trade your chosen currency pairs profitably.

Trading sessions are periods of time when banks are actively trading. As is well-known, Forex working hours are unlimited and it functions round the clock. Sessions come one after another, or partially superimpose on one another, giving traders a possibility to trade whenever convenient to them.
To know the schedule of trading sessions on the Forex market is also useful because currencies behave differently according to different trading sessions. For instance, if we take a less active period after New York closes and before Tokyo opens, Sydney will be open for trading but with more modest activity than the three major sessions (London, US, Tokyo). Consequently, less activity means less financial opportunity. If you want to trade currency pairs like EUR/USD, GBP/USD or USD/CHF you will find more activity when both Europe and the United States are active.

Trading hours Schedule

The time zone is GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

Trading Sessions

Below is a brief of trading sessions that will help you make the most of the market.

Asian Session

During this forex trading hours the most active deals in the market exchange operations are the US dollar against the yen (USDJPY), the euro against the yen (EURJPY), the US dollar against the euro (EURUSD) and the Australian dollar against the US dollar (AUDUSD).

European Session

At this time the trades are conducted in the European financial centers. The volatility of the most popular currency pairs increases significantly after the London forex online market starts its session. Changes of rates during the European trading hours could be significant, because the majority of monetary stock is concentrated in Europe. EUR, GBP, USD are the most active.

US Session

Forex trading activity reaches its maximum level when the New York session opens and US banks begin to work, and European dealers return after their lunch break. The influence of European and American banks is similar, so no significant changes take place in Forex compared to the start of the European session. However, after the termination of the European market volatility may be higher. Often this is observed on Friday, before the weekend. The American session is more aggressive in trade than others and USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, JPY are the most active.

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