Financial data analysis with a laptop and a clock

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The forex market is the world’s largest financial market. It operates around the clock, 5 days a week, providing abundant trading opportunities to traders globally. Understanding the forex market’s opening and closing times is crucial for successful trading because it allows traders to align their strategies with the most active and liquid periods.

In this article, we will explore the forex market’s trading hours across different time zones, highlighting the key sessions and their significance in forex trading.

A clock, a mobile, and a laptop, with the mobile displaying forex data.

An Overview of the forex market

Otherwise known as the foreign exchange market, this market is where individuals or businesses go to trade currencies. It is a decentralized market, with no central exchange or governmental control, and enables traders to engage in currency exchange electronically.

The forex market is known for its high liquidity, significant trading volume, and constant price fluctuations, making it an attractive option for traders worldwide. The 7 most traded currencies globally are the U.S. dollar, euro, Japanese yen, British pound, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, and Swiss franc. They are traded continuously while the forex market is open.

Forex trading sessions

The forex market operates through four major trading sessions, which overlap at certain times, resulting in increased trading activity and liquidity. These are:

London/European session

The European session begins when the London market opens at 7 am (GMT). London is the most active session, characterized by high liquidity and volatility, as it overlaps with both the Asian and North American sessions. It is considered the forex capital of the world, and approximately 43% of all forex transactions happen in London.

It is called the European session because it includes several major financial markets such as Frankfurt, Geneva, Paris, Hamburg, Amsterdam, and others. Traders typically witness significant movement among European currency-based pairs such as EUR/USD, USD/CHF, GBP/USD, and USD/JPY. 

Tokyo-Sydney/Asian session

The Asian session is comprised of two major forex markets, Sydney and Tokyo. The Sydney session runs from 10 pm to 5 am (GMT), and the Tokyo session runs from 11 pm to 8 am (GMT). The Tokyo session is considered somewhat slow-paced, with major currency pairs involving the Japanese yen (JPY) being the most active during this period.

Other popular currencies traded during the Asian session include the Australian dollar, the New Zealand dollar and the Japanese yen. Forex traders participating in this session typically focus on news releases from central banks and statistics agencies in Australia, Japan, and New Zealand to make better-informed trading decisions.

New York/North American session

The North American session begins with the opening of the New York market at 12:00 GMT. As the session overlaps with the European session, there is heightened trading activity, making it a popular time for forex trades. Major currency pairs involving the US dollar (USD) are most active during this session.

Pacific session

The Pacific session is the last session of the day. The Sydney and Tokyo markets are active during this time. While liquidity is relatively lower compared to other sessions, traders interested in Australian and New Zealand dollars (AUD and NZD) often participate in this session.

A clock and a laptop displaying forex data.

Best Trading Times

The overlap between different sessions creates periods of increased market activity and liquidity. This presents ideal opportunities for trading in forex.

  • Asian-European: The overlap between the Asian and European sessions (00:00-07:00 GMT) is considered one of the most active periods. This is because traders from both regions actively participate. Major currency pairs involving JPY, EUR, GBP, and CHF often experience heightened volatility during this time.
  • European-North American: The overlap between the European and North American sessions (12 noon – 4 pm GMT) is another vital period for forex trading. It has been said that when these two trading sessions overlap (London and New York), some of the largest volumes of trading transactions occur, with trillions of dollars in value-changing hands.

Weekend or after-hours trading

It’s important to note that forex trading is generally not available during weekends, as most global markets are closed. However, after-hours trading or extended trading hours are possible due to electronic trading platforms, allowing traders to react to significant news events or economic releases during non-market hours.

Gap trading

Gap trading is a strategy utilised by forex traders to capitalise on opportunities in forex trading. The strategy revolves around the belief that the opening price on Sunday will align with the closing price on Friday. The “gap” refers to the disparity between the closing price on Friday and the subsequent opening price on Sunday.

To engage in forex gap trading over the weekend, traders must identify online forex brokers that operate during weekend hours. Additionally, they should possess a thorough comprehension of market news and establish a well-defined strategy.

A clock and a tablet displaying forex data.

Learn to trade the forex market using a demo trading account

If you’re venturing into the forex space, consider registering for a demo trading account to boost your trading skills and acquire the expertise required to make informed trading decisions. Signing up for a T4Trade demo account will provide you with a simulated trading environment in which you can practice entering and exiting trades without putting your own money at risk.

Use the demo account to learn how to use a range of technical analysis tools and practice applying them to compare different trading outcomes. A demo account through powerful broker T4Trade will give you access to MetaTrader 4, an internationally acclaimed trading platform. Used by millions of traders in countries across the globe, MT4 offers a superior trading experience, regardless of proficiency or trading style.  

Negociar com a T4Trade

T4Trade is a global broker, offering brokers access to 300+ financial instruments across 6 asset classes. This includes forex, shares, futures, metals, commodities, and indices. With T4Trade, traders can buy or sell their favourite assets via CFDs and explore trading opportunities with flexible or fixed spreads.

The broker also provides traders with fast execution of trades, flexible trading conditions, and security of funds. A dynamic multilingual customer support team also provides global traders with top-tier customer support throughout their trading journey. In addition, T4Trade’s MT4 platform offers traders key trading tools and features required to make optimal trading decisions.

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