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 lean 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 whole 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:
Summer (approx. April – October)
|Sydney OpenSydney Close||6:00 PM3:00 AM||10:00 PM7:00 AM|
|Tokyo OpenTokyo Close||7:00 PM4:00 AM||11:00 PM8:00 AM|
|London OpenLondon Close||3:00 AM12:00 PM||7:00 AM4:00 PM|
|New York OpenNew York Close||8:00 AM5:00 PM||12:00 PM9:00 PM|
Winter (approx. October – April)
Sydney Close4:00 PM
1:00 AM9:00 PM
6:00 AMTokyo Open
Tokyo Close6:00 PM
3:00 AM11:00 PM
8:00 AMLondon Open
London Close3:00 AM
12:00 PM8:00 AM
5:00 PMNew York Open
New York Close8:00 AM
5:00 PM1:00 PM
Actual open and close times are based on local business hours. This varies during the months of October and April as some countries shift to/from daylight savings time (DST). The day within each month that a country may shift to/from DST also varies.
You can see 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 EDT, 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 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, you’re probably looking at the Sydney open and thinking why it shifts two hours. 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.
Let’s take a look at the average pip movement of the major currency pairs during each forex trading session.
From the table, you will see that the European session normally provides the most movement.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at each of the session, as well as those periods when the sessions overlap.