The currency market is open 24 hours, five days a week. This makes it accessible globally whenever the market is open. However, all forex market hours are not equally suited for trading. The money market fluctuates throughout the day depending on the active trading session at the time.
As a trader, you need to understand which hours are more suitable for you at any time. Primarily, you need to trade when there is high volatility to make profits. Getting into forex trading can be challenging at the beginning. Knowing the best time to trade is vital for your trading success.
The Major Trading Sessions and Hours
The forex market has four major trading sessions. To understand when each session is active, you need to convert local times to a coordinated universal time. In this article, the time is in Green Mean Time (GMT). The major trading sessions are New York, Tokyo, Sydney, and London.
Opening and Closing Hours for Trading Session
- Sydney Open: 10 PM GMT (summer) / 9 PM GMT (winter) Close 7 AM GMT (summer) / 6 AM GMT (winter)
- Tokyo Open: 11 PM GMT (summer) / 11 PM GMT (winter) Close 8 AM GMT (summer) / 8 AM GMT (winter)
- London Open: 7 AM GMT (summer) / 8 AM GMT (winter) Close 4 PM GMT (summer) / 5 PM GMT (winter)
- New York Open: 12 PM GMT (summer) / 1 PM GMT (winter) Close 9 PM GMT (summer) / 10 PM GMT (winter)
The most active trading sessions are London, Tokyo, and New York because they trade high trading volumes in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. While the forex market is open 24 hours a day except on weekends, some hours have low activity. The time between 19:00 GMT to 22:00 GMT has low trade volume.
Some sessions overlap each other, and such times have the highest activity and volatility because of two regions trading concurrently. The London and the New York sessions overlap for four hours all year while London and Tokyo overlap for an hour during summer.
The Best Trading time
The best trading time depends on your region. The general rule of forex trading is that a trader should trade when the market is most liquid. When there are low trade volumes, the market becomes quite volatile. It becomes a challenge to understand market movements.
Look for trading sessions that are most active, like London and New York sessions when there is a time overlap. Trading hours before Sydney opens and when New York has ended is the worst trading time.
Traders in Asia can either trade during the Sydney or Tokyo sessions, while African traders’ best session would be London. New York is the best for the Americas since the currencies pairing with the US Dollar, which constitutes 88% of the FX Exchange globally, will be highly volatile during this session. The UK and Europe’s best trading session in London.
The key to successful trading lies in your knowledge and understanding of trading sessions and hours. Different trading sessions have varied impacts on currency pairs, and they fluctuate throughout the year. In 2019, the USD gained 10.2% against the Russian Ruble. When you are just beginning, you need to find out which session is favorable to you.