As you may already know, the foreign exchange market is open 24 hours a day. One could make any kind of currency transaction throughout any weekday. The reason behind that is that forex transaction are decentralized. This means that any person around the world could buy or sell any currency, either over the phone, or through an ECN. As long as there is one forex market open, there are transactions that could be made.
There are four major Forex market sessions:
- The Sydney Session
- The Tokyo Session
- The London Session
- The New York Session
The sessions above are listed in chronological order in regards to each Forex market opening hours.A session is the period in which trading is open in each particular country. The Forex market opens when markets in Sydney open at 8 am local time, and closes when the markets close in New York at 5 pm local time.
How to make use of these Forex Market Hours?
Volatility varies a lot from one trading session to the other. However, currency markets are the most volatile whenever two session overlap.
As I said before, a trading session is when the markets are open in a particular country. So let’s look at the London Session which opens at 8 am GMT, and closes at 4 pm. It overlaps with the New York session which opens at 1 pm GMT, and closes at 10 pm. As you see there are 3 hours where both markets are open, and that means greater volatility.
Many people say that the best time to trade is during market overlaps, because higher volatility means lower spreads. But there are others who would prefer to trade during the late hours of the night to avoid high volatility and sudden market moves. Which one you choose is up to you, and up to your trading character and psychology.
Keep in mind that Forex market trading hours are different in winter than in the summer. That is due to the fact that a lot of countries apply the Daylight Savings Time. You could take a look at the Forex market hours chart on this page to make sure you are not confused by the trading hours in Forex.