Forex market hours

02/06/2012 20:13

Unlike most other trading markets, the FX market is open for trade 24 hours a day. Three major trading periods define the daily FX market, namely the Tokyo Trading Session, the London Trading Session, and the New York Trading Sessions. Generally, the FX market is most active when sessions overlap with a US/Europe overlap between 8 AM - 12 PM (New York Time) and a Europe/Asia overlap between 2 AM - 5 AM (New York Time).

Tokyo Trading Session: 7:00 PM - 4:00 AM (EDT)

Tokyo is the first market to open and many large participants use the trade momentum there to develop their strategies and as a gauge for future market dynamics. Approximately $210 Billion worth in transactions are enacted in the Tokyo Trading Session, although this number is smaller than the net volumes of the London and New York sessions. Overall, trading in Tokyo can be thin from time to time (relative to London and New York) and large investment banks and hedge funds are known to use the Asian Session to run important stop and option barrier levels. 

London Trading Session: 3:00 AM - 12:00 PM (EDT)

London is the largest and most important trading center in the world, with over 30% in market share and a daily trading volume of around $580 Billion. Most of the world's largest banks keep their dealing desks in London and the bulk of the FX trading occurs during the London session. However, the large number of participants in the London FX market and the high value of the transactions make the London exchange very volatile. 

New York Trading Session: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm (EDT)

The second largest trading market, New York handles approximately 14% of the world's FX transactions with a daily volume of around $330 Billion. The majority of the transactions in New York occur during the US/Europe overlap, with transactions slowing as liquidity dries up and European traders exit the market. Since California has never served as a bridge between the US and Asia, there is a 50% drop in activity by midday. As a result, market developments in the afternoon during the New York session do not garner comparatively enough attention. The New York session is heavily influenced by the US equity and bond markets and pairs will often move closely in tandem with the capital markets.

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