Learning Forex (Preschool) - When Can You Trade Forex? - Deepstash

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Forex Trading Sessions

Forex market is open 24 hours a day, but that doesn’t mean it’s always active the entire day.

You can make money trading when the market moves whether is up or down but you will have a very difficult time trying to make money when the market doesn’t move at all.


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Forex Market Hours

The forex market can be broken up into four major trading sessions: 

  • Sydney session
  • Tokyo session
  • London session
  • New York session

Traders often focus on one of the trading periods, rather than attempt to trade the markets 24 hours per day.

Since New Zealand is a major financial center, the forex markets open there on Monday morning, while it is still Sunday in most of the world (it's still called Sydney Session).

Other than the weekends, there are just two public holidays when the entire forex market is closed, Christmas and New Year’s Day.


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Daylight Savings Time

Open and close times will also vary during the months of October/November and March/April as some countries (like the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia) shift to/from daylight savings time (DST).

The day of the month that a country shifts to/from DST also varies, confusing us even more.

It’s important to remember that the forex market’s opening hours will change in March, April, October, and November, as countries move to daylight savings on different days.


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Trading Session Overlaps

Between each forex trading session, there is a period of time where two sessions are open at the same time:

Naturally, these are the busiest times during the trading day because there is more volume when two markets are open at the same time.

This makes sense because, during those times, all the market participants are bustling which means more money is transferring hands.


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Tokyo Session

For traders living in America, the trading day actually begins on Sunday night at 5:00 pm EST (10:00 pm GMT).

However, liquidity doesn’t really show up until Tokyo opens a few hours later.

The opening of the Tokyo session at 12:00 am GMT marks the start of currency trading in Asia.

Tokyo session is sometimes referred to as the Asian session

Pair you should pay attention:

  • AUD
  • JPY
  • NZD
  • RMB

Pay attention to China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand News.


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London Session

London benefits from its time zone. London’s morning overlaps with late trading in Asia and London’s afternoon overlap with New York City. London it is considered the forex capital of the world.

It may be best to stick with the majors (EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, and USD/CHF), as these normally have the tightest spreads.

Also, it is these pairs that are normally directly influenced by any news reports that come out during the European session.

You can also try the yen crosses (more specifically, EUR/JPY and GBP/JPY), as these tend to be pretty volatile at this time.


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New York Session

Right as European traders are getting back from their lunch breaks, the U.S. session begins at 8:00 am EST as traders start rolling into the office.

The New York can actually be divided into three sessions:

  • Morning session: 8am – 12pm EST
  • Lunch session (or lunch hour): 12pm – 1pm EST
  • Afternoon session: 1pm – 4pm EST

Take note that there will be a TON of liquidity as both the U.S. and European markets will be open at the same time.

This allows you to trade virtually any pair, although it would be best if you stuck to the major and minor pairs.

Pay attention to US News or Data.


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Best Times of Day to Trade Forex

Logically, you would think that this happens during the overlap between the two sessions. Check the characteristics below:

Tokyo – London Overlap

  • Liquidity during this session is pretty thin for a few reasons. Typically, there isn’t as much movement during the Asian session.

London – New York Overlap: 

  • Liquidity is at an optimum level around 10am and 3pm London time (10am NY time).
  • It is during this period where we can see some big moves, especially when news reports from the U.S. and Canada are released.
  • If any trends were established during the European session, we could see the trend continue.


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Best Days of the Week to Trade Forex

It’s best to trade during the middle of the week, since this is when the most action happens.

Fridays are usually busy until 12:00 pm EST and then the market pretty much drops dead until it closes at 5:00 pm EST. This means we only work half-days on Fridays.

The busiest times are usually the best times to trade since high volatility tends to present more opportunities.


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Worst Times to Trade

  • Sundays – everyone is sleeping or enjoying their weekend! No activity during weekend.
  • Fridays – liquidity dies down during the latter part of the U.S. session.
  • Holidays – everybody is taking a break.
  • Major news events – be careful since there are sudden movements that lead you to great losses.
  • When the trader doesn't feel great – it would be best to wait so that your analysis or judgement doesn't get cloudy.


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