The opening of the Tokyo session at 12:00 AM GMT marks the start of the Asian session. You should take note that the Tokyo session is sometimes referred to as the Asian session because Tokyo is the financial capital of Asia.
One thing worth noting is that Japan is the third largest forex trading center in the world.
This shouldn’t be too surprising since the yen is the third most traded currency, partaking in 16.50% of all forex transactions. Overall, about 21% of all forex transactions take place during this session.
Below is a table of the Asian session pip ranges of the major currency pairs.
These pip values were calculated using averages of past data from the month of May 2012. Take note that these are NOT ABSOLUTE VALUES and can vary depending on liquidity and other market conditions. Also, the session range for EUR/CHF has not been included since the Swiss franc has been pegged to the euro at 1.2000 during the period.
Here some key characteristics that you should know about the Tokyo session:
- Action isn’t only limited to Japanese shores. Tons of forex transactions are made in other financial hot spots like Hong Kong, Singapore, and Sydney.
- The main market participants during the Tokyo session are commercial companies (exporters) and central banks. Remember, Japan’s economy is heavily export dependent and, with China also being a major trade player, there are a lot of transactions taking place on a daily basis.
- Liquidity can sometimes be very thin. There will be times when trading during this period will be like fishing – you might have to wait a long, long time before getting a nibble.
- It is more likely that you will see stronger moves in Asia Pacific currency pairs like AUD/USD and NZD/USD as opposed to non-Asia Pacific pairs like GBP/USD.
- During those times of thin liquidity, most pairs may stick within a range. This provides opportunities for short day trades or potential breakout trades later in the day.
- Most of the action takes place early in the session, when more economic data is released.
- Moves in the Tokyo session could set the tone for the rest of the day. Traders in latter sessions will look at what happened during the Tokyo session to help organize and evaluate what strategies to take in other sessions.
- Typically, after big moves in the preceding New York session, you may see consolidation during the Tokyo session.
Which Pairs Should You Trade?
Since the Tokyo session is when news from Australia, New Zealand, and Japan comes out, this presents a good opportunity to trade news events. Also, there could be more movement in yen pairs as a lot of yen is changing hands as Japanese companies are conducting business.
Take note that China is also an economic superpower, so whenever news comes out from China, it tends to create volatile moves. With Australia and Japan relying heavily on Chinese demand, we could see greater movement in AUD and JPY pairs when Chinese data comes in.
Now let’s check out how you can trade the London session.