What Are The Forex Market Trading Session Times?

What Are The Forex Market Trading Session Times
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With the advent of derivatives and extensive out of hours markets, many markets can be traded at any time. But just because you can trade a market at any time doesn’t mean you should.

In this article we will uncover what the different trading sessions are for the forex markets and what the best sessions are for trading.

What Are The Main Forex Trading Sessions?

The Forex markets are open 24 hours a day and as such there are no formal trading sessions for them. However, a convention is that there are three main sessions for Forex trading sessions which are defined in relation to GMT or UTC.

Session GMT Open GMT Close
Sydney (Asian) 21:00 PM 05:00 AM
Tokyo (Asian) 23:00 AM 07:00 AM
Frankfurt (European) 07:00 AM 15:00 PM
London (European) 08:00 AM 16:00 PM
New York (North American) 13:00 PM 21:00 PM

Note: GMT and UTC are always the same time. The only difference is that GMT is a timzone and UTC is a standard.

Forex Time Zones Converter. Click through to our tool to see the current Forex Market trading times live and convert to your time zone. 

Forex Time Zone Converter
Forex Time Zone Converter

Why Are Forex Session times not consistently described?

The main thing that people want to know is what time these sessions are. If you research this you will find that different sources state slightly different times!

The reason for this is as stated because it is more of a convention than a rule. These times are loosely based on the local “working day” for traders. Generally 08:00 AM to 16:00 PM local time which is then converted to GMT.

Time Zone Changes

Of course this means that as times move throughout the year with daylight savings the relative times change in relation to each other. Add to that the fact that these change at different times in different places makes it all the more confusing.

Market is more than one city

A lot of people refer to these sessions by the key cities for forex trading such as Tokyo or London but more broadly these are referred as the Asian, European and North American sessions. 

The times of these sessions are a bit broader than those in the individual cities.

  • Sydney and Tokyo sessions can sometimes be referred to as one just the Asian or overnight session.
  • The London session can be referred to as the European session and start an hour earlier given that the German markets open earlier than London.

Forex Trading Session MT4/5 Indicator

If you trade using MT4 or MT5 you can get a free Trading Session indicator as shown below by following the link provided and signing up for a demo account.

Admiral Session Map
Admiral Session Map

Admiral Markets MT4SE Session Map EA – Available with Admiral Markets MT4 Supreme Edition (requires sign up to a demo account). Get it free here: Admiral Markets MT4 Supreme Edition.

Why Are The Forex Session Times Important?

The sessions are important to note as the majority of trading volume is concentrated in these sessions depending on the asset traded. By that we mean different assets are traded more or less strongly in different sessions.

What are the best assets for each session?

In the European session the majors such as the GBP/USD cross or the EUR/GBP cross get a lot of volume. As the crossover with the US session starts the GBP/USD has even more volume along as well as the other major USD crosses.

Active pairs during the Asian session are any JPY cross, such as USD/JPY or EUR/JPY. and AUD/JPY

Volume Is King

The volume of trading in any asset is important as it has an impact on your trading and trading strategies:

  • High volume trading times will have more volatility meaning that the number of pips that the market moves on average will be higher during the trading times with the most volume making it more suitable for trend or breakout trading.
  • High volume times will also have the advantage of much tighter (lower) spreads, making trading cheaper.
  • Low volume trading times will have a lower average trading range making it more suitable for range trading.
  • Low volume can result in increased risks of price spikes. This is often referred to as volatility risk. Volatility is generally something traders look for as it gives more opportunity to trade but there is a difference between the type of volatility gained by market volume and volatility spikes caused by poor liquidity.

What Is The Best Time To Trade Forex?

There is no single answer as it depends on the trader and strategy but for the greatest volume, volatility (price swings) and tightest spreads the London / New York crossover is the best time to trade (12:00 AM GMT – 21:00 PM GMT).

Why is the London / New York crossover so important?

London has historically been a major centre for forex clearing and as such the majority of forex trading occurs in the London session. However, the dollar is the world’s most traded currency with 88% of forex transactions. 

The combination on these factors makes the London / New York crossover a significant trading period for forex and many other asset classes.

Forex Volatility Tracker

The effect of volatility is that that the range of the market, and as such the number of pips available is greater during high volume time periods. 

Why is it important to know about average market range?

The average market range – often calculated as the average true range (ATR) – is an important factor for several reasons. The main being that it is a good indicator of the potential reward available on a trade.

For example if a market has already moved 70 pips in a session and the ATR for that period is 80 then you may reconsider if there is enough volatility to take any more profit within that session. 

Free Tracker: For those of you interested in seeing more statistics on Forex Volatility the best resource we have found is linked below from www.mataf.net. This is an excellent resource which allows you to see up to 50 weeks of ATR data for all the major crosses.

Forex Volatility Trading Tool: https://www.mataf.net/en/forex/tools/volatility.

Risk Warning: CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 81% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Disclaimer and Affiliate:

Affiliate Links:

In this article we recommended some links to Admiral Markets which are affiliate links. This means we may receive a commission in some instances.

Disclaimer:

This material does not contain and should not be construed as containing investment advice, investment recommendations, an offer of or solicitation for any transactions in financial instruments. Trading financial instruments offered by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, stocks) carries a high level of risk which is not suitable for all investors due to their complex nature. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek advice from independent financial advisors to ensure you understand the risks involved. Read more at www.admiralmarkets.com.

Justina Nothard

Justina Nothard

Hi, I’m Justina Nothard, a retail investor trading Stock Index Futures.

I understand how hard it can be for the ordinary trader to learn the basics and find useful tools and practical information.

This is why I decided to create Nothard Trading to help you take control of your trading.

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