Forex Market Hours and Trading Sessions

Forex Trading Hours

The Forex market has a daily trading volume of more than 4 trillion dollars, making it the biggest financial market in the world. The Foreign Exchange currencies are traded continuously (24/5), only breaking for weekends. The reason the Forex market is almost always open is that it is International, operating in every single time zone. It is always office hours somewhere in the world. But certain times are highly active, while other times are remarkably slow.

The Forex Market Trading Sessions

Forex is a 3-session financial market:

1) London Trading Session

2) New York Trading Session

3) Asian Session (Tokyo and Sydney sessions are called the Asian sessions)

 

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Forex Trading Hours (GMT)

Here are the Forex Market time zones throughout the trading year (GMT).

  • London (European) session: 08:00 am to 16:00

  • New York (American) session: 13:00 to 22:00

  • Asian session: 22:00 to 09:00

 

Forex Market Overlaps

An overlap occurs when two Forex markets are open at the same time. During an overlap, the liquidity and the trading activity get maximized. Asian/European overlaps account for heavy hours of trading of certain currency pairs, such as GBP/JPY and EUR/JPY. Trying to set a position during these hours will likely lead to a poor entry price, which is significant for long-term traders. On the other hand, short-term traders can use the heightened volatility to their advantage.

Image: Forex sessions' overlaps

Forex Market Overlaps

GMT Market Overlaps

  • New York and London sessions overlap: 13:00 - 16:00 GMT

  • London and Tokyo sessions overlap: 08:00 - 09:00 GMT (2 hours in summer time and only 1 hour in winter)

  • Sydney and Tokyo sessions overlap: 00:00 - 06:00 GMT

 

Most Active Times to Trade Forex

  • Overlaps offer high liquidity and wider volatility (pip range movement)

  • The overlap between London and New York sessions offers the best opportunities for Forex trading from 13:00 to 14:00 GMT

  • The best days to trade Forex are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday

 

GMT Hour Difference

Here is the hour difference between GMT (Winter/Summer) and other Time Zones:

GMT HOUR DIFFERENCE

LOCATION

WINTER

SUMMER

London

0

+1 Hours

New York

-5 Hours

-4 Hours

Los Angeles

-8 Hours

-7 Hours

Wellington

+11 Hours

+12 Hours

Sydney

+9 Hours

+10 Hours

Tokyo

+9 Hours

+9 Hours

Hong Kong

+8 Hours

+8 Hours

Singapore

+7 Hours

+8 Hours

Moscow

+3 Hours

 

Frankfurt/Main

+1 Hours

+2 Hours

Zurich

+1 Hours

+2 Hours

 

 

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More information about the Foreign Exchange Trading Sessions

The majors are more active over very specific periods. This is due to the selective demographics who trade in these pairs. And while a 24-hour market offers the advantage of being constantly accessible, this comes with its pitfalls. A trader cannot be focused on the Forex markets all the time and needs to decide which times are most appropriate for the currencies s/he is trading.

(1) Asian trading session

The Asian markets are the first to observe action after the weekend. This is because of their position on the globe. In other words, their time zone makes them the first to enter the new week. The Tokyo capital markets are live from 22:00-09:00 GMT. There are other countries with considerable pull present during the Tokyo session, including Australia, New Zealand, China, and Russia.

  • The Asian session generally runs longer hours, to overlap with the rest of the world

(2) European or London trading session

Just before the Asian trading hours come to a close, the European session becomes most active. The official business hours in London run between 08:00 and 16:00 GMT.

  • This is the biggest session, accounting for over 32% of all Forex market activity
  • The London session is characterized by great liquidity and volatility
  • The euro and the British pound pairs are the most interesting currency assets to trade during the London session

(3) North American or New York trading session

The North American session comes online when the Asian markets have already been closed for a couple of hours. However, the European session is still in the middle of its day. This session is heavily influenced by the US, with contributions from Canada, Mexico, and some countries in South America.

  • The New York session opens at 13:00 GMT, while the London session is still active
  • The New York session is characterized by high liquidity, especially during the early hours when it overlaps with the European session (13:00-16:00 GMT)
  • The major pairs are more active during the American session and that includes EURUSD, GBPUSD, USDCHF, USDJPY, USDCAD, AUDUSD, and NZDUSD

 

Average Pip Movement in each major Forex Trading Session..

Average Pip Movement in each major Forex Trading Session

This is the average pip movement of some of the most traded currency pairs in each of the 3 Forex trading sessions.

Forex Pair New York Tokyo London
EUR/USD 92 76 114
GBP/USD 99 92 127
USD/JPY 59 51 66
AUD/USD 81 77 83
NZD/USD 70 62 72
USD/CAD 96 57 96
USD/CHF 83 67 102
EUR/JPY 107 102 129
GBP/JPY 132 118 151
AUD/JPY 103 98 107
EUR/GBP 47 78 61
EUR/CHF 84 79 109

 

Forex Market Trading Sessions

CurrenciesFX (c)