Best Times to Trade Forex: Market Hours & Time Zones Explained

If you are new to the forex market and are looking for information on the opening and closing times of the main markets (Sydney, Tokyo, London and New York), in this article we will explain what they are. Also, we will review the different time zones, including countries such as Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Peru, taking the United Kingdom as a reference.

It's important to know the best time to trade in the currency market. This involves identifying when different markets overlap and when trading volume is highest. In the following section, we'll provide you with information on these aspects so you can improve your trading strategies.

when is the best time to trade forex in uk

Forex market hours

The forex market is open 24 hours a day, from 10 p.m. GMT on Sunday to 10 p.m. GMT on Friday.

The forex market handles approximately $5 trillion in trading volume daily, making it one of the largest financial sectors globally. Major currencies hold significant importance in the forex market due to their high liquidity and trading activity.

It's essential to remember that the forex market is highly competitive, attracting thousands of investors worldwide, all seeking trading opportunities. Therefore, understanding and adhering to the appropriate forex trading hours is crucial for optimising your trading strategies and making informed decisions in this dynamic financial sector.

👉 Top-picked Forex trading strategies: day trading and scalping

International forex trading sessions

The world's financial markets are spread across different regions of the planet, primarily in four key continents: Europe, North America, Asia, and Oceania. Each of these regions covers a substantial part of the globe and is associated with a specific city.

In Europe, the most significant trading sessions occur in London and Frankfurt. In North America, the primary trading session is in New York. Tokyo marks the beginning of the trading session in Asia, and Sydney plays a vital role in Oceania. It's worth noting that the timing of these sessions can vary at certain times of the year, such as during the winter months.

As each trading session opens, major market participants located in these regions, along with individual traders, start their trading activities, which can influence market trends. Paying attention to these trading schedules can help you plan your trading strategies more effectively and seize opportunities in the global financial markets.

For those involved in forex trading, selecting the best forex broker, becomes crucial in navigating these international waters, ensuring access to vital resources and support across these diverse trading hours.

👉 Have a look at our London Stock Exchange Opening Hours & Calendar and US stock exchange calendar

Next, let's see when each forex trading session opens around the world (GMT/BST).

Forex market hours: London

  • Opening hours: 8:00 AM
  • Closing hours: 5:00 PM

Forex market hours: New York

  • Opening hours: 1:00 PM
  • Closing hours: 10:00 PM

Forex market hours: Tokyo

  • Opening hours: 12:00 AM
  • Closing hours: 9:00 AM

Forex market hours: Sydney

  • Opening hours: 9:00 PM
  • Closing hours: 6:00 AM

Forex market hours: Frankfurt (Xetra)

  • Opening hours: 7:00 AM
  • Closing hours: 4:00 PM

Forex market hours: overlapping sessions

In addition to knowing the opening hours of each market, it's crucial to grasp the concept of overlapping sessions. These are time periods when different markets are open at the same time, and they are pivotal for trading in the forex market.

During these periods, there's a significant surge in trading volume as investors from various sessions trade simultaneously. These moments present greater trading opportunities.

  1. London and New York: This is the most significant overlap in the forex market. It occurs when the New York session starts while the London session is still open. In GMT, this overlap is typically from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM GMT.
  2. Tokyo and London: There is a shorter period of overlap between the Tokyo and London sessions. This overlap is relatively small and occurs in the early hours of the London session. In GMT, this is typically from 8:00 AM to 9:00 AM GMT.
  3. Sydney and Tokyo: This overlap happens towards the end of the Sydney session and the start of the Tokyo session. It's significant for trading in the Asia-Pacific currency pairs. In GMT, this overlap occurs from 12:00 AM to 6:00 AM GMT.

What are the best forex trading hours for traders in the UK?

For traders in the UK, the best forex trading hours are typically those that coincide with the London session and the overlaps with other major sessions, as these periods often see increased liquidity and volatility. The London session itself is significant due to the size and importance of the UK markets in global forex trading. Here's a breakdown:

  1. London Session (8:00 AM – 5:00 PM UK Time): This is the most active trading session for UK traders. The London forex market is one of the largest in the world, so trading during these hours offers significant opportunities due to high liquidity.
  2. Overlap with Tokyo (8:00 AM – 9:00 AM UK Time): The last hour of the Tokyo session overlaps with the first hour of the London session. This overlap is particularly relevant for trading Asian and European currency pairs.
  3. Overlap with New York (1:00 PM – 5:00 PM UK Time): This is one of the most active trading periods in the forex market globally. The overlap between the London and New York sessions sees the highest volume of trades due to the combined influence of the European and American markets.

Outside these hours, UK traders might also consider the early part of the New York session (before the London session closes), as the market still maintains good liquidity and there can be significant movements, especially in USD pairs.

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Can I trade forex on weekends?

Forex markets are usually closed to retail traders over the weekend, but you might find some exceptions with specific brokers or in certain regions. Just keep in mind, trading outside regular hours can come with higher risks and spreads.

When is the forex market most active?

The forex market is most active during the overlap between the London and New York sessions, typically from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM GMT.

Are forex market hours affected by daylight saving changes?

Yes, Forex market hours can shift slightly due to daylight saving time changes in countries like the US and UK.

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