The Best Forex Trading Hours

The forex market operates on a 24/5-hour basis, which is one of the reasons it is so popular. Being so open and global, fluctuations and trading opportunities occur constantly. What’s more, exchange rate fluctuations of each currency are different depending on the forex trading hours, from one market session to another.

It can thus be difficult to know when to trade. So, what are the best forex trading times? This guide will take you through the best forex trading hours to get the best out of your forex experience.

What Are the Best Forex Trading Hours?

Here are the best forex trading hours, regardless of where you live and trade. 

1. From 3 pm to 4 pm, GMT+8 – The Asia/Europe Overlap

This is when the market trade starts becoming active. Trends, signs of change, or even breakthroughs will emerge, thus offering early opportunities. 

2. From 8 pm to 12 am, GMT+8: The London/New York Overlap

This is typically the busiest time of the open days, as economic data comes from Europe and Northern America. This is when market trends are likely to be the most evident, with market volatility and bulk trading increases. 

3. Anytime, From Tuesday to Thursday

Trading is in fact, at its most active midweek. Indeed, this is when the market starts digesting the weekly economic data. What’s more, rises and falls are easier to predict, and disorderly fluctuations are fewer. 

Keep in mind that, although choosing one of the best forex trading times can increase success, it isn’t a guarantee or the sole factor to making a profit. Therefore, you should constantly monitor the markets, develop your forex strategy and educate yourself about trading.

Where Are the Forex Markets?

Currently, 30 major international forex markets are spread across Asia, Europe, and North America. The main ones are:

  • In Europe: London, Frankfurt, Zurich and Paris 
  • North America: New York and Los Angeles  
  • Asia: Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong 
  • Australia: Sydney 

Thanks to regional time differences, markets are linked with each other without interruption, and that is why the best forex trading hours occur a few times throughout the week.  

In total, the forex market is open for five days, from Monday to Friday. It is closed worldwide on Saturday and Sunday until 5 am Beijing time (GMT+8). It then reopens the following Monday, starting off with New Zealand.

Major Forex Market Trading Hours

The table below summarizes the opening and closing times of the major forex markets. As you will notice, some markets have different summer and winter operating times. 

Forex Market Daylight Saving Time Standard Time 
London 4:30 pm – 11 pm 5 pm – 12:30 am 
New York 8 pm – 3 am 9 pm – 4 am 
Tokyo 8 am – 3:30 pm 8 am – 3:30 pm 
Hong Kong, Singapore 9 am – 5 pm9 am – 5 pm 
Frankfort 3 pm – 10 pm 4 pm – 11 pm 
Sydney 7 am – 3 pm 7 am – 3 pm 
A summary of opening and closing times of the markets for a standard time and daylight saving time.

As we have seen, forex trading is carried around the clock. It can be divided into three sessions:

  1. The Asian Session: 11 pm to 8 am (GMT)
  2. The European Session: 7 am to 4 pm (GMT)
  3. The North American Session: 12 pm to 8 pm (GMT)

What Are the Worst Periods for Forex Trading?

Knowing the periods to avoid is just as important as knowing the best forex trading hours. Here are the major ones to avoid.

1. Friday

It’s best to avoid holding into the weekend. Why? Because if negative economic news arises during the closing time, you won’t be able to do anything about your investment. This, thus, creates a considerable risk for your transaction. 

2. Holiday Periods

Major banks sometimes close during these times. Consequently, trading volume is lower, and exchange rate volatility can increase, so trading isn’t advisable. 

3. Major events

Major events tend to temporarily throw markets out of order and take time to digest, with volatility increasing the risk of market entry.

Forex Trading Hours and Price Fluctuations

Remember that currency pairs can vary at different rates throughout the week. Indeed, local currencies tend to be more active during their local forex session.  

For example, AUD and NZD will likely be the most volatile in the early trading hours of Asia, whereas EUR and USD will usually be clustered at that time. This is also due to the timing at which regional economic data are released. 

During the peak forex trading hours, from 8 pm to 1 am Beijing time (GMT+8), exchange rates often experience high fluctuations. Traders in Asia can start trading as early as 3 pm Beijing time and thus take advantage of this ideal time frame, analyze the market condition and make their best move.

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