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Does Forex Trade on Weekends? Demystifying Forex Market Hours

07 July 2023

The foreign exchange market is global and decentralized. The currencies are traded over the counter without any centralized exchange. 

This article takes you through various critical aspects of forex trading hours. Stay tuned to uncover each trading session, whether trading happens on weekends and what's the best time to trade based on trading volume. 

What Are Forex Market Hours?

The Forex market is open 24 hours a day - 5 days a week. It starts on Sunday at 5:00 PM EST and runs through Friday at 5:00 PM EST. This extended trading period allows global market participants to engage in currency trading, regardless of their time zone. 

Notably, due to the closure of important financial hubs and the absence of large market participants, forex trading is typically closed on weekends.

The international currency markets facilitate global business, and the market participants include banks, commercial companies, financial institutions, hedge funds, investment management companies, and retail individual traders.

What are forex trading sessions?

Let us understand the four significant trading sessions that make up the market's daily cycle to comprehend Forex market hours. These sessions include the Sydney session, the Tokyo session, the London session, and the New York session. Each session represents a significant financial hub where trading activity is concentrated.

Sydney Session (9 PM to 6 AM UTC) 

The Sydney session marks the beginning of the trading week. Although it is considered a relatively quieter session, it sets the stage for increased activity during later sessions.

Tokyo Session (12 Midnight to 9 AM UTC)

As the Asian markets awaken, the Tokyo session gains momentum. This session often experiences higher liquidity and volatility, focusing on currencies like the Japanese Yen.

London Session (7 AM to 4 PM UTC) 

The London session is known for its significant trading volume, as it overlaps with the Tokyo (7 AM to 9 AM UTC) and New York (12 Noon to 4 PM UTC) sessions. It is considered the most active session, offering ample trading opportunities. 

The London 4 PM Fix is crucial for benchmark spot and forward exchange rates. Many pension funds and money managers use this benchmark to set daily valuation and pricing.

New York Session (12 Noon to 9 PM UTC) 

The New York session is the final major session of the day. It is characterized by high liquidity, particularly when it overlaps with the London session. Many economic indicators and news releases during this session influence currency movements.

What is the best time to trade forex?

Forex trading is generally closed on weekends. Specific sessions and high-volume hours during weekdays offer the most active trading opportunities.

Overlapping Sessions 

The overlapping sessions create a surge in trading activity. For example, when the London and New York sessions overlap (12 Noon to 4 PM UTC), liquidity and volatility are maintained at their peak, making it an optimal time for traders to enter the market.

Economic Indicators and News Releases 

Economic indicators and news releases often occur during specific sessions, leading to heightened market activity. Traders keen on capitalizing on fundamental analysis can focus on these hours to take advantage of potential market movements.