The foreign exchange market (also referred to as FX, Forex or currency markets) operates 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. Forex trading hours cross three key time zones during the trading day. The three key trading sessions are:
- Asian (includes Sydney/Australia & Tokyo/Japan)
- European (London) and
- US (New York) sessions.
Understanding forex market hours is essential for all FX traders. Knowing when to trade is just as important as knowing what to trade in the foreign exchange market. Traders need to be aware of how much market activity occurs during the different foreign exchange trading sessions. This will also be dependent on the currency pairs you’re trading in a given market session.
Below is a Forex market hours chart for Australian currency traders. The times displayed are based on eastern standard time in Australia and illustrates the various session times & where these FX markets overlap each other. When converting the forex trading times to your local time zone, always check if/when daylight savings may take effect, and factor this into your time frame.
The first hour after a major market session opens is considered important. This time frame may also give an indication of how the session may develop. Most online forex trading platforms used for technical analysis, have the capability to draw these session breaks on your forex charts.
Session trading times are based on Australian Eastern Standard Time (and not adjusted for daylight savings).
In periods when FX market “trading hours” overlap, liquidity will tend to increase. This is a result of more traders participating in the currency market at that time. This is often where you will see Forex brokers with raw ECN market spreads (they often charge a commission per trade) tighten even more than their normally tight levels due to the overlapping market hours and liquidity generated.
Forex News Trading Times
Another critical timing factor for Forex traders is knowing when potentially market moving announcements (such as interest rate, employment / unemployment, GDP etc), are going to be released. Price movement before, during and after an economic news announcement can be extremely volatile. This is a key difference between currency markets and more ‘traditional’ financial markets such as the stock market.
Although economic news has the potential to move any financial market, forex markets are particularly sensitive to news events and increased volatility is commonplace at these times. A Forex trader should include checking Please refer to our free real time forex economic calendar before commencing your FX trading session.
If you haven’t chosen a Forex broker yet, we recommend viewing our Forex brokers comparison tables to aid your search.