The forex market is global and is open 24 hours a day on weekdays:
- It opens at 0:00 CET (GMT + 2) on Monday
- It closes at 22:00 CET (GMT + 2) on Friday
- It’s closed on Saturday and Sunday as most banks are shut and liquidity is low
There are four regional trading sessions:
- Asia – Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore
- Europe – Frankfurt and London
- America – New York and Chicago
- Pacific – Wellington and Sydney
Each session has unique characteristics; you need to understand these to get the most out of each market.
The most active currency pairs traded in this session are as follows:
- USDJPY – US dollars to Japanese Yen
- EURUSD – US dollars to Euros
- EURJPY – Euros to Japanese Yen
- AUDUSD – Australian dollars to US dollars
This is an active session, and there can be significant exchange rate fluctuations due to the trading volume of Euro-based financial instruments:
- Volatility increases when the London market opens
- Activity decreases during lunch
- Activity rises again during the afternoon
The most active forex trading begins when New York opens and European traders return from lunch. The American session has the following characteristics:
- Volatility is low since American and European banks have similar levels of influence
- Volatility can increase once European markets close – especially on Fridays
- Trading is aggressive
Trading is quiet during the Pacific session.
When are the markets open?
All times are shown as CET (GMT + 2).
The schedule of trading sessions: