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Trading in the financial markets in a way that increases your potential for success requires skill, expertise, vigilance, and grit. Knowing the best times to trade the market is dependent on a variety of factors like market liquidity, volatility and global economic or geopolitical events. In this article, we’ll be looking at potentially favourable trading times for various financial instruments.

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Financial Instruments: Trading forex currency pairs

The forex market is comprised of 4 main sessions where global traders go to trade major, minor and exotic currency pairs. These are the Tokyo-Sydney/Asian session, the London/European session, the Pacific session, and the New York/North American session.

  • The most active trading sessions for major currency pairs like the EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, and USD/CHF are usually when the London/European and New York/North American sessions overlap, between 8 am–12 noon (EST). This makes sense if one considers that this session includes some of the biggest financial markets in Europe, i.e., Frankfurt, Geneva, Paris, Hamburg, Amsterdam, and others.
  • The Asian trading session is typically more active with trades that include currency pairs like USD/JPY, AUD/USD, and NZD/USD. This occurs between 7 pm-2 am EST.
  • Major currency pairs that include the US dollar (USD) are most active during the New York/North American session.

Stock trading

Stock trading is the buying and selling of stock in a publicly listed company. Stocks are typically traded on physical or virtual exchanges, e.g., the New York Stock Exchange (where some trades are placed manually on the trading floor) or NASDAQ which is a fully electronic exchange. Other popular stock market exchanges include Euronext (pan-European), Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) and Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE).

  • Regular trading hours for the U.S. stock market are between 9:30 am-4 pm EST. The first and last hours of the trading day typically experience heightened volatility and increased trading opportunities.
  • The trading hours for the major European stock markets (financial instruments), e.g., Euronext and the London Stock Exchange (LSE), are usually between 8 am-4:30 pm GMT.
  • The Asian stock markets like the TSE and HKEX are generally open for trading between 9 am-3 pm local time.

Commodities trading

Commodities trading is often used as a way for traders to diversify their portfolios beyond conventional financial instruments. The basic premise of what drives the commodities market is that of supply and demand. In other words, low supply generally equates to higher prices and vice versa. Other factors that impact the commodities market are global economic development, widespread health issues that affect cattle for instance, and technological advancements. Commodities are categorised into 4 primary groups, metal, energy, agricultural and livestock.

  • Trading crude oil futures is often more active during the U.S. trading session, between 9 am-2:30 pm EST, as it aligns with the release of key economic data and market news.
  • Gold trading experiences higher volatility during the overlapping trading hours of European and U.S. sessions, typically between 8:00 am-1:30 pm EST.
  • Other commodities like silver, copper, natural gas, etc, often follow similar patterns to crude oil and gold, with higher liquidity and trading activity during the respective market sessions.
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Trading bonds

The bond market is a financial market where debt securities, primarily bonds, are traded. These securities are typically brought to the market by corporations or governmental entities. Governments usually do this to fund infrastructural development or reduce debt. Companies usually issue bonds to raise capital to finance operations, expansion, or projects.

Popular types of bonds include corporate bonds, government bonds, municipal bonds, mortgage-backed bonds, and emerging market bonds. Bond trading hours can vary depending on the specific bond market and the country it operates in. In general, though, bond markets tend to have overlapping hours with major financial centres and stock exchanges.

  • The primary bond market in the US is the Treasury market. It is open from 8a.m-5 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday to Friday. The secondary market for US corporate bonds, municipal bonds, and other fixed-income securities may have extended trading hours until 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
  • The European bond markets generally follow the trading hours of their respective stock exchanges. For example, the London Stock Exchange operates from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. GMT. Other major European exchanges, such as Euronext (Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels), Deutsche Börse (Frankfurt), and Borsa Italiana (Milan), have similar trading hours.
  • The Asian bond markets often have trading hours that align with the stock exchanges in the region. For instance, the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Japan operates from 9 am-3 pm—Japan standard time. The Hong Kong Stock Exchange typically works from 9:30 am-4 pm Hong Kong time.

It’s important to note that these trading hours are subject to change based on market conditions, holidays, economic events, geopolitical developments, and daylight saving time changes.

Managing risk

Regardless of the market you trade in, having an effective risk management plan to avoid losing large sums of capital is key. The plan should define the criteria for evaluating risk, as well as outline the strategies for mitigating that risk. The plan should also align with your trading style and risk tolerance. Other risk management techniques include:

  1. Planning your trades
  2. Setting stop-loss and take-profit orders
  3. Calculating expected return
  4. Setting and sticking to a budget
  5. Diversification and hedging
  6. Having a proper understanding and handling of your trading psychology is crucial. Emotive trading increases the risk of adverse trading outcomes and poor trading decisions. Never trade on impulse or due to greed. Exercise patience and control.
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Choosing T4Trade

For traders looking to dabble in the forex market, picking the right forex broker is critical. It requires extensive research to make an informed choice and to increase the potential for positive trading outcomes. T4Trade is quickly gaining popularity for its reliability and expertise in forex trading.

The broker offers many innovative trading tools, educational resources, and daily market insights to make you a more strategic trader. This is in addition to a strong customer care team, flexible leverage, low spreads, fast execution and easy deposits or withdrawals.

Disclaimer: This material is for general informational & educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or an investment recommendation. T4Trade is not responsible for any data provided by third parties referenced or hyperlinked, in this communication.

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