Forex, also known as the foreign exchange market, is the largest financial marketplace worldwide. It consists of banks, commercial companies, central banks, investment management firms and hedge funds.
Forex market hours are important for traders from around the world who trade currencies. Knowing when and where you can trade currency on this global marketplace makes it essential to know its hours of operation.
North American Session
The Forex Market is the world's largest financial exchange, boasting an estimated daily trading volume of $5.3 trillion. Here, banks, hedge funds and other large financial companies trade currencies 24 hours a day and five days a week starting on Monday and ending Friday.
The North American session begins at 9 a.m. ET when market-making banks in New York and Toronto open for business. This also coincides with the start of the high-volume London session, and these two usually overlap briefly before London closes at 6 p.m.
At this time, many traders exchange billions of dollars between themselves and their counterparts in Europe. This can cause increased volatility in certain currency pairs, particularly those heavily traded between the United States and Canada.
Additionally, the American session often witnesses the release of key U.S. macroeconomic data and news stories which can have a substantial effect on exchange rates.
It is worth noting that this session has a high volatility level and therefore should only be attempted by risk-tolerant traders. Popular currency pairs during the session include USD/CHF, GBP/USD and EUR/USD.
These currency pairs typically experience daily ranges of more than 120 pips, making them the most liquid currency pairs.
However, the Asian-Pacific session is less volatile than either European or North American sessions, making it a good option for newbies who are just starting out with Forex trading. Furthermore, it's an ideal time to test automated systems designed for flat trading since prices dynamics tend to be less unpredictable and risks lower.
In the South Pacific region, forex trading begins around 4 p.m. ET in Auckland and Wellington but picks up considerably when Sydney opens at 6 p.m. The Japanese market then dominates the Asian-Pacific session until 5 a.m. GMT on the final day, completing a 24-hour forex trading loop.
The Asian Session of the Forex Market, also known as Tokyo session, is the opening trading period of each week and one of its busiest. Due to its large volume of currency trades and liquidity provided, this period is widely considered prime trading time.
Traders in the Asian trading session can trade multiple currency pairs simultaneously. Popular choices include JPY, AUD and NZD. It's important to remember that volume and spreads during this session tend to be higher compared to other sessions; therefore, selecting the correct pair for their trading strategy is paramount.
This trading session is typically quieter compared to other periods, making it simpler for traders to manage their trades. Furthermore, they can more easily detect levels of support and resistance which could guide them when entering or exiting trades.
Another advantage of trading the Asian market is that it's simpler to spot breakouts from established ranges. This is because the closing time of the Asian session overlaps with the start of the London session, providing extra liquidity.
However, this can lead to increased volatility during power hours. Therefore, it is essential to monitor economic news from Asia and Japan closely - particularly important for currencies with the Japanese Yen such as GBP/JPY or AUD/JPY pairs.
It's also beneficial to observe breakouts during the overlap of Tokyo and London sessions, which could be an advantageous time for traders to make profits. These breakouts can be utilized to open new long or short positions.
Stochastic indicators provide traders with sell and buy signals when prices reach certain levels of resistance or support. This allows them to set up a profitable entry point and avoid losing money.
Trading the Asian session is best done using a short time frame (five to 30 minute chart). This allows you to quickly identify any trading range witnessed during the session and set your stop loss at either its recent swing low or high.
The Forex market operates around the world at various times, allowing traders to trade 24 hours a day. However, not all markets open at exactly the same time and not all pairs trade continuously. Therefore, it is essential for Canadian traders to know when the Forex market opens and closes for trading purposes.
On the European session of the Forex market, which takes place between 8am and 4pm UK time, liquidity is at its highest point due to London's status as a global financial center. Here, almost any currency pair can be traded.
The Forex market is based in London and New York, but it is accessible to traders on other trading platforms offered by brokers around the world. This provides an enormous advantage for international traders.
The Forex market can open and close at any time during the day, since it is traded electronically instead of being controlled by exchanges that close down. This enables it to remain open longer than any one exchange would ever remain open for trading.
The Forex market has long been known to continue trading even when New York and London shut their doors. This is because currencies continue to circulate around the globe long after a particular market has closed, and many foreign exchange brokers remain open during these times.
For instance, the Forex market is open in New Zealand on their business day despite it being Sunday elsewhere. It also operates in Sydney, where many people go to enjoy the summer weather while most of the rest of the world remains on standard time.
Australia, where Sydney is located, closes the forex market at 9pm local time on Saturday and opens again at 8:00 am the following Monday; New Zealand opens at 8 am and closes at 9 pm GMT Sunday. Therefore, it's essential to know which sessions of the Forex market are active when trading on your platform.
Canada's Forex Market is closed on Christmas Day and New Year's Day; however, it remains open all other workweek days, including Mondays. Since trading conditions differ during these holidays, traders should take this into consideration when making their decisions to trade.
In a closed Forex market, trading volume is much lower and volatility lower. Therefore, novice traders may experience significant losses.
In Canada, the most significant statutory holidays are New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Canada Day and Labour Day. These days are observed by all citizens as public holidays across Canada.
In addition to national holidays, there are also provincial and territorial celebrations. While some are observed by all Canadians, others have a particular cultural or religious origin.
There are numerous special days that commemorate significant events or historical figures. While some are designated holidays by law, others simply reflect social or customary customs.
These days are often referred to as "statutory holidays" or "stat holidays." They are paid holidays that employees are typically entitled to take off on behalf of the government at either federal or provincial levels, and many private businesses also extend some form of paid day off on these occasions.
Other popular statutory holidays in Canada include Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day and Christmas. These events are widely observed by Canadians and often provide an opportunity for shopping, bargain hunting and relaxation.
Investors who wish to avoid losses should attempt to steer clear of trading holidays. This is because the liquidity in these markets is severely reduced, diminishing their opportunity for making reasonable profits.
However, some traders prefer trading on holidays because they lack time to monitor markets during normal trading hours. These individuals have developed strategies that enable them to make profits even when there is less liquidity in the market.