Forex Market Hours & Trading Sessions

Forex Market Hours & Trading Sessions

[Update August 7, 2020]

Currency trading is a 24/5 open market that virtually follows the sun. From Monday to Friday, markets never close, making it difficult to speculate on every trading session. Moreover, trading in different Forex time zones has different particularities. Some Forex trading hours are more volatile than others, so traders must adjust their strategies. Let’s discuss the ways to trade on different Forex session times, define the Forex trading sessions, and their specifics.

Forex market sessions: specifics and hours

The Forex market includes four big Forex sessions: the New York session, also called the North American session, the London session, the Sydney session, and the Tokyo session. The two latter sessions are combined into an Asian trading session. Different Forex sessions imply different conditions and specifics of trading.

Forex market hours table

Please note that actual open and close times depend on local business hours. Most business hours start around 7-9 AM local time.

Spring/Summer in the U.S. (March/April — October/November) Local time EDT BST (GMT+1)
Sydney Open — 7:00 AM

Sydney Close  — 4:00 PM

5:00 PM

2:00 AM

10:00 PM

7:00 AM

Tokyo Open — 9:00  AM Tokyo Close — 6:00 PM 8:00 PM

5:00 AM

1:00 AM

10:00 AM

London Open — 8:00 AM London Close — 4:00 PM 3:00 AM

11:00 AM

8:00 AM

4:00 PM

New York Open — 8:00 AM New York Close — 5:00 PM 8:00 AM

5:00 PM

1:00 PM

10:00 PM

Fall/Winter in the U.S. (October/November — March/April) Local time EST GMT
Sydney Open — 7:00 AM

Sydney Close  — 4:00 PM

3:00 PM

12:00 AM

8:00 PM

5:00 AM

Tokyo Open — 9:00  AM Tokyo Close — 6:00 PM 7:00 PM

4:00 AM

12:00 AM

9:00 AM

London Open — 8:00 AM London Close — 4:00 PM 3:00 AM

11:00 AM

8:00 AM

4:00 PM

New York Open — 8:00 AM New York Close — 5:00 PM 8:00 AM

5:00 PM

1:00 PM

10:00 PM

The Asian trading session

When markets open on any Monday, the first financial centers that start trading are in Asia. Sydney and Tokyo are the first ones to begin the trading week, and the market typically is very slow.

It is usually characterized by large volumes of trade because Japan is the second-largest economy in the world, but with little volatility, that is price movement. Minor fluctuations are the result of the fact that Asian economies are heavily dependent on the export of their goods, and therefore do not need major fluctuations in national currencies.

In general, the situation on the Asian session in many ways sets the mood of the whole trading day. With the beginning of the European trading session, traders first analyze the results of the Asian exchange and, as a rule, follow its sentiments — this can be considered when trading.

Unless certain events happen over the weekend (elections, referendums, geopolitical events, natural disasters, etc.), the markets won’t gap at the opening. Speaking of gaps, the only possibility to experience one when trading the currency market is at Monday’s opening.

Below we’ve set out a table of average daily pip movement for the Asian trading session.

Currency pair Pip movement
EUR/USD 76
GBP/USD 92
USD/JPY 51
AUD/USD 77
NZD/USD 62
USD/CAD 57
USD/CHF 67
EUR/JPY 102
GBP/JPY 118
AUD/JPY 98
EUR/GBP 78
EUR/CHF 79

The London Forex session

London is the largest financial center of the planet today, as it was before. The local stock exchange, for example, trades 30% of the world’s shares daily, and trading terminals of major world banks are also located in London, so during this session, the number of market participants reaches a maximum.

An important feature of European trading is that they are partially overlapping with the Asian session in the morning and with the North American session in the afternoon. This is the time when most of the news on the Eurozone, Britain, the USA, and Canada comes out.

The London session is perfect both for scalping and swing trading. Traders can easily reach risk-reward ratios of 1:2 or even more during the London session, especially in sessions when vital economic data comes out.

In order to learn how to trade on the currency market during the London Forex session, you should select just a few currency pairs used, so that you do not disperse your attention in a volatile market. If you prefer risky high-yield trading, then pay attention to such pairs as GBP/CHF, GBP/YPY, GBP/USD, EUR/USD. The movement of these instruments during the daytime can reach 120-150 points (especially after the news release), so short-term operations with large volumes can be very effective.

If you are prone to light trading, then use USD/CAD, USD/CHF, AUD/USD, NZD/USD, which rarely move more than 40-70 points even during the release of macroeconomic statistics. This will allow you to make trading decisions without panic and rush and open and close transactions without slippage.

Below we’ve set out a table of average daily pip movement for the London Forex session.

Currency pair Pip movement
EUR/USD 114
GBP/USD 127
USD/JPY 66
AUD/USD 83
NZD/USD 72
USD/CAD 96
USD/CHF 102
EUR/JPY 129
GBP/JPY 151
AUD/JPY 107
EUR/GBP 61
EUR/CHF 109

The North American Session

Although the trading volume in New York is much lower than in London (about 20% of world turnover), the volatility here is not lower, and often even higher, than during the European session. The essence of the situation is that the Europeans are still engaged in trading, and therefore the trends are overlapping, which leads either to their reversal or strengthening.

Risky investors who perform large volume trades with fast closing of positions should be especially careful during the American session.  High trading volatility is able to knock out even the average stop-losses, so traders must comply with the rules of capital management in the Forex market. The most liquid pairs at this time: EUR/USD, USD/CAD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, and also XAU/USD (gold). When carrying out trades, it is necessary to get acquainted with the macroeconomic statistics released in the U.S., which can turn the market around several times per session.

Below we’ve set out a table of average daily pip movement for the North American Session.

Currency pair Pip movement
EUR/USD 92
GBP/USD 99
USD/JPY 59
AUD/USD 81
NZD/USD 70
USD/CAD 96
USD/CHF 83
EUR/JPY 107
GBP/JPY 132
AUD/JPY 103
EUR/GBP 47
EUR/CHF 84

Daylight Savings Time

One should keep in mind that when a certain region shifts to daylight saving time, temporary changes are made to the trading session schedule. Due to DTS shifts and changes, Forex market’s opening hours will change in March, April, October, and November, as different countries move to daylight savings.

Trading Session Overlaps

As mentioned above, the time of Forex trading sessions may overlap.

The first overlap occurs in the Pacific and Asia when exchanges in several countries start working simultaneously. A little later, the Sydney exchange closes and the second overlap with the European region takes place. Here the Hong Kong and Singapore markets meet.

But the biggest interest for traders is the overlap between Europe and America. The market targets in Europe and the U.S. are often different, which is especially noticeable with the EUR/USD pair.

During the overlap, the price behavior is most difficult to predict. Besides, important news may come out, bringing a new surge of volatility and cancellation of all previous trading signals.

FAQs

What time does the Forex market open?

In different countries and regions, Forex markets are open 24 hours a day, from 5 p.m. EST on Sunday until 4 p.m. EST on Friday. At any time, you will find at least one open market.

Is Forex open on weekends?

The Forex market open time is only weekday hours, so it is closed on weekends. However, the weekend time gets “squeezed” as Forex time zones change.

What time does the Forex market open on Sunday?

The FX market for the week opens at 9 PM — 10 PM GMT and 5 PM EST on Sunday.

What time does the Forex market close?

The U.S. forex market closes on Friday at 5 PM.

Conclusion

Because trading is a game of probabilities, the idea is to have the best plan according to what the market is likely to do. For instance, during the Asian session, it is OK to expect a hundred pips moves, but the chances are that the market will range. Hence, traders use scalping techniques and trade larger volumes on smaller targets.

On the other hand, the London and New York Forex session times are so animated and volatile that the trading volume decreases. Traders use scaling techniques (open various positions at different levels so that they get a better average) and indicators that allow riding intraday trends (e.g., moving averages).

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