Knowing what the best times to Forex is a crucial component to effective and efficient Forex trading. During the trading week the Forex market is open 24 hours a day, but just because it is open around the clock does not mean prices are always moving in a way that makes a particular market worth trading. Money is made in the Forex market when the market is volatile and moving, not when the market is calm and relatively quiet.
So, as a Forex trader you need to know when the most active Forex trading times are, as this will aid you greatly in the timing of both your entries and your exits as you navigate the markets. The two most active Forex sessions are the London session and the New York session, during these sessions price action provides the best trading environment. The Asian trading session is often less volatile and thus less likely to result in major moves within the various Forex pairs.
The Forex market contains three distinct trading sessions; trading starts in Australia and Asia, and moves around the globe into Europe and finally ending the day in North America as trading closes each day in New York. The various Forex trading hours are as follows:
• Asian trading session (including Australia and New Zealand): the Asian trading session opens at 6:00pm EST and closes at 4:00am EST
• London trading session: the London trading session opens at 3:00am EST and closes at 12:00pm EST.
• New York trading session: the New York trading session opens at 8:00am EST and closes at 5:00pm EST.
As you can see from the above list of times to trade Forex, there are periods each day where the sessions over-lap each other. It is within these periods when volume and volatility typically rise to peak levels. The London and New York trading sessions over-lap between 8am and 12pm EST, this is typically considered the best time to trade Forex. The reason it is considered the best time to trade is because this is when the world’s two most active trading centers cross; as London trading comes to an end, New York trading is opening, and they are both open at the same time for 4 hours each trading day. As a result, many traders strictly trade within this 4 hour window because it generally brings the best liquidity and volatility.
Beyond knowing the best Forex trading times, it also helps to know which currency pairs to trade. Generally speaking, the “major” Forex currency pairs are the best, the reason they are widely considered to be the best Forex pairs to trade is mainly because they offer the smallest spreads and highest liquidity. This means you pay smaller fees to trade the majors and they move in a “safer” manner than the “exotic” currency pairs, which can tend to jump around and move a relatively illogical way. In the end, make sure you know the best times for Forex trading and the best Forex pairs to trade; these are some of the basics of learning Forex.