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NIAL FULLER
Professional Trader, Author & Trading Coach

The Best Times to Trade Forex Currency Pairs (Part 2)

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By in Forex Trading Strategies Last updated on | 90 Comments

Note: If you have not done so already please read part 1 first: The Best Currency Pairs to Trade

forex-timesIn the first part of this article we discussed which currency pairs are the best to trade and explained the differences between the majors, crosses, and exotics. Today’s article is going to pick up where last week’s left off; we are going to discuss the best times to trade the forex market and the differences between the various FX trading sessions.

Since you have read part 1 and you now know which currency pairs to focus on and why, it is important that you understand when the different forex trading sessions are, how they differ from each other, and the best times and days to trade.

It is true that the forex market is open 24 hours a day, but that doesn’t mean the market is active and worth trading for the entire day. The idea is to trade when the market is the most volatile, because volatility means that a market is moving, and money is made when the markets are moving, not when the market is quiet and calm.

As a price action trader you should be especially excited about volatility, because price action strategies thrive in volatile market conditions due to the fact that they simply reflect the dynamics of price movement and provide you with easy to identify setups which allow you take advantage of volatility.

When are the various forex trading sessions?

forexmarkethoursThe 24-hour forex market trading day can be broken up into three major trading sessions:

(Note: The chart to the right reflects the Tokyo open and ignores the Sydney open, we have included the Sydney open in the description below, which is an hour earlier than the Tokyo open. All times are based off summer hours in the Northern Hemisphere, the Asian session opens at 4pm EST during winter hours with the market opening in Sydney, London and New York hours remain the same)

• 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.

You will notice that in between each trading session there is a window of time where two sessions are operating at the same time. From 3:00 – 4:00am EST, the Asian and London sessions overlap, and from 8:00-12:00pm EST, the London and New York sessions overlap.

As you may have guessed these over-lapping periods within the three trading sessions are the times when volume and volatility rise to peak levels. The over-lap of the London and New York trading sessions between 8am and 12pm EST is typically the best time to trade, because this is when the world’s two most active trading centers cross; as the London session is closing the New York session is opening. Many traders strictly trade this four hour time window because it is typically a very volatile and liquid time to trade the forex market.

The Asian trading session:

The Asian trading session begins at 6:00pm EST as trading gets underway in New Zealand and Australia, an hour later at 7pm EST Tokyo opens up. Tokyo is the financial capital of Asia; it is also worth noting that Japan is the third largest forex trading center in the world. The yen is the third most traded currency, involved in about 19.0% of all forex transactions; overall about 21% of all forex transactions take place during the Asian trading session.

• Financial hot spots of the Asian trading session include; Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Sydney.

• Liquidity is sometimes thin during the Asian session, this is why many FX traders avoid the Asian session and opt to trade the London / New York sessions instead. That said, price will sometimes make powerful moves during the Asian session.

• Major news releases for New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and China come out during the Asian session, so the NZD, AUD, and JPY currency pairs tend to move more than the others during the Asian session. (Chinese economic policy can influence other majors currencies even though China does not allow their currency to float on the international exchange)

• Generally speaking, if the London and New York sessions result in big moves, you will see consolidation during the Asian session.

The London trading session:

As Asia comes to a close the London trading session gets underway. There are several major financial centers scattered around Europe, but London has historically been the center of all forex trading. About 30% of all forex transactions take place during the London trading session.

• Due to the fact that the London session over-laps with the Asian and New York sessions, it is typically the most active trading session and this leads to high liquidity/volume and lower pip spreads.

• The London session usually sees the most volatile market conditions because such a large amount of transactions take place during this trading period. Remember, volatility is good for price action traders since we deal with the core price data of the market, instead of secondary indicators that lag price.

• Major European news releases mainly come out during the London trading session, this means the GBP, EUR, and CHF are all typically the most active during the London session.

The New York trading session:

The New York trading session gets underway at 8:00am EST, this is just about the time traders in London are getting back from their lunch breaks, and it also signals the start of what is on average the most active time period for forex trading; from 8am EST to 12pm EST.

• Between 8am EST and 12pm EST there is high liquidity as the London and New York sessions overlap.

• The majority of all economic reports are released around the start of the New York trading session since both Europe and New York are open at this time. All USD and CAD economic news comes out during or near the New York trading session.

• About 85% of all forex trades involve the U.S. dollar, so any currency pair involving the USD has the potential to make a big move during the New York trading session.

• After European markets close, volatility and liquidity tend to die down during the late-afternoon New York trading session.

• The New York close is very important as it marks the end of the forex trading day, it is important that you use New York close charts because many price action setups form as the trading day comes to an end.

What does it all mean?

If you have no time constraints or you have a job that allows you to get on the internet and check the charts periodically, the best time to trade is from 8:00am to 12:00pm EST during the New York and London session overlap. Both the London and New York trading sessions are excellent times to trade overall, so no matter where you live in the world you should be able to find a time that works with your schedule.

However, you can trade successfully purely off the daily charts, and it is also a much more stress-free way to trade, this means you can check the charts around or shortly after the New York close each day at 5pm EST. If you employ my “set and forget forex trading strategy” on the daily charts, you will only need to check the market once or twice a day for a short period of time.

The Asian trading session tends to be the least volatile, so if you are looking for big moves to occur, you are likely going to be waiting until trading gets underway in London around 3am EST.

Sundays are typically not worth trading because movement is very low and nothing significant has happened yet to set the currency pairs in motion. The best days to trade based on average daily trading ranges for the “majors” are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Friday can be good to trade too up until about 12pm EST when London closes. Monday typically sees lower average trading ranges for the majors, but this doesn’t mean you should avoid trading on Monday, it just means it is statistically less likely that there will be large forex price movements on Monday than the other weekdays.

Remember, being a price action trader means that you need to pay most of your attention to learning to spot high – probability price action trading setups in the Forex market. In the end, what really matters is obtaining a high quality Forex trading education in price action analysis, this way you won’t really need to concern yourself with analyzing economic reports and the thousands of variables that contribute to FX price movement each day. If you want to learn how to trade the Forex market with a handful of simple yet effective price action forex strategies, check out my price action trading course.

Nial Fuller is considered a leading ‘Authority’ on Price Action Forex trading strategies. If you want to learn more about harnessing the power and simplicity of Price Action Trading Strategies please visit Nial Fuller’s Forex Trading Course & Traders Community Page Here. Nial’s Students get lifetime access to all of his advanced price action Forex Courses, video lessons, webinar tutorials, daily trade setups newsletter, live trade setups discussion forum, traders support line & free ongoing course updates. For more information visit the Forex Course page here.

About Nial Fuller

is a Professional Trader & Author who is considered ‘The Authority’ on Price Action Trading. He has a monthly readership of 250,000+ traders and has taught 20,000+ students since 2008. Checkout Nial's Professional Forex Course here.
  1. Matsi July 4, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Woow, that was so very much empowering.
    Matsi, Polokwane RSA

    Reply
  2. Noko May 7, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Thanks man. U r a straight talker. My hat is off

    Reply
  3. William Pennington March 2, 2017 at 8:13 am

    Tnx for the amazing article Nial. You are an amazing teacher. I have been wondering what the best currency pairs were and when to trade them for over a year now. Tnx to you I finally know!

    Reply
  4. Wandi February 21, 2017 at 7:43 pm

    Hi

    A newbie in Forex Trading your lessons make sense and are informative. I will follow your instructions/education

    Reply
  5. Akande Olalekan January 25, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    thank you now i know the difference between GMT —EST our local time in Africa

    Reply
  6. Jeh September 11, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    This good!

    Reply
  7. Pat Sheridan March 10, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    Excellent articles. Straight talking. Even a relatively inexperienced guy like me can get real value from this well explained / minimum jargon approach………..well done and thank you.

    Reply
  8. john January 4, 2016 at 12:13 am

    thank i learn more of the trading strategiest

    Reply
  9. Skenery June 23, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Thanks Mr Nial

    Reply
  10. Doris Telfer November 15, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Thanks for this powerful articlr

    Reply
  11. Doris Telfer November 15, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    Thank you very much for this wealth of knowledge you have given me through your article

    Reply
  12. kamran April 27, 2014 at 5:38 am

    very informative good work . it help to understand the market timing.

    Reply
  13. Daniel August 23, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Powerful article mentor Nial! You make trading forex simple and understandiable for a newbie like me!!!

    Reply
  14. emmanuel August 16, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    thanks for this great knowledge master

    Reply
  15. Manqoba Lukhele August 11, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Powerful information u have imparted to us Master Nial! God bless u abundantly!!

    Reply
  16. Manqoba Lukhele August 11, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    Powerful information professor Nial! U make trading forex simple!!!

    Reply
  17. Awofeso May 15, 2013 at 5:42 am

    Nial you are God sent to we traders, God bless you always.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  18. Ben May 12, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    Great,v.informative

    Reply
  19. sotoris April 26, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    thanks for the info

    Reply
  20. Leon April 10, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Thank you so much Nial.

    Reply
  21. Sebastian April 8, 2013 at 4:08 am

    Nial,

    i read all this stuff before but i wish i would have read yours first because it is so concise and wisely put together. thanks a lot and i will have more questions for sure.

    have a great week and good trades to everyone.

    Reply
  22. raimundo March 18, 2013 at 3:26 am

    Thank you Nail, very clear and informative. You have answered my mail and more…

    Reply
  23. Vincent March 18, 2013 at 3:20 am

    Thanks for great article Nial! God Bless You!

    Reply
  24. maria March 3, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    You are the best,article is clear and It Explains in a very simple and easy Form.Thanks for take your time and all Your help.

    Reply
  25. Jag February 24, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Really very very helpful!!

    Thanks for increasing R:R (return:risk)ratio!!

    Reply
  26. IKPONMWOSA OSAGIE February 3, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    You are the most define Forex writer i have ever met.your articles are very power and very enlightening.God bless you sir.
    osagie from nigeria

    Reply
  27. Bennyslex January 28, 2013 at 2:56 am

    GOD BLESS NIAL FULLER.

    Reply
  28. russ January 24, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Recently I have found the best time for my trades with the Yen crosses are about an hour or two after Tokyo opens (7am EST), but closing out or moving my stops before going to sleep during the London sessions. Also I have been watching the Japanese Yen Cash (J6Y00) futures chart and it has really helped with direction on the spot price for the Yen pairs.

    Reply
  29. livia October 5, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Finally, I got it. Keep teaching me your great lesson, please.Thank you for allowing me absorbing your lesson. Someday I will inevitably take the advance course :D.

    Reply
  30. Nitka September 29, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    well…I still do not know when all those times are in my “local” time…doh…lol

    Reply
  31. clive August 1, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    This article is a very concise and precise sypnosis of the useful trading times. Typical of the Forex King,- Nial, no BS, straight to the point. Much better than the so called Fx expert talks. Thank you.

    Reply
  32. Thomas Sebastian May 28, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Nial,

    You article has given me the fundamental pre-requisites required before trading Forex. I have not started but will start soon using your strategy.

    God Bless You

    Reply
  33. Shane April 11, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Once again a great, concise and very helpful article Nial. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  34. Pham April 7, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Thanks Nial for sharing. A great article for all who starts learning and trading forex.

    Reply
  35. Sean September 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    What a clear lesson for trading on Forex. thanks Nial for sharing

    Reply
  36. Billy Mckeown July 7, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Well done Nial, your information contains non of the BS usually associated with Forex sites. I wish you good luck for the future and keep up the good work, we all know it pays back in the end!

    Reply
  37. jafaru June 23, 2011 at 7:15 am

    THIS PART OF YR LESSON IS WONDERFUL I WISH YOU SPOON FEED US WITH THE CURRENCY PAIRS IN LINE WITH THE SESSONS.

    Reply
  38. Stephen June 15, 2011 at 4:14 am

    A very clear and detailed introduction for the best times to trade the markets. Thankyou.

    Reply
  39. Loreto May 15, 2011 at 1:54 am

    Muchas gracias de nuevo, me encantan tus articulos.

    Reply
  40. Lola May 9, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Very useful information, very important and very explanatory.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  41. Brooky April 26, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Nial, From one Ozzie to another thanks. Very clear commonsense
    advise worthy of many reads. Cheers Brooky

    Reply
  42. ohuzui April 16, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Nial. thanks this is another great eye openner. ohuizu

    Reply
  43. Michal April 9, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Thanks for every article on your site. Very good job! I think it’s very helpful for newbies and confused forex traders!

    Reply
  44. Antonio Gutierrez April 2, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Thanks; very nicely explained.

    Reply
  45. Jon March 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I find myself reading some of these articles Again as they are honest and very encouraging.
    Thanks nial

    Reply
  46. Anthony Flanders March 19, 2011 at 4:43 am

    Thanks Nial, very useful info

    Reply
  47. albert March 16, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    thanks for your articles, just wonderful.

    Reply
  48. mike March 12, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Nial,
    Thanks to your articles I think I can trade successfully part time. I’ll be signing up for our course as soon as I can afford it.
    regards
    Michael

    Reply
  49. Ajith March 10, 2011 at 4:25 am

    Nial,

    An insightful article. My thanks and regards

    Ajith

    Reply
  50. Nompumelelo Madonsela March 9, 2011 at 5:57 am

    Nial I highly appreciate your explanations about the market.they makes a huge impact on my trading..THANKS..and now I always win

    Reply
  51. Raul L. March 9, 2011 at 3:48 am

    Thanks Nial,great article

    Reply
  52. allan clarke March 9, 2011 at 1:02 am

    Thanks Nial, as usual clear and concise explanation

    Reply
  53. Joshua March 9, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Very interesting and Its true. Keep on doing good work.

    Reply
  54. George March 8, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Thanx Nial for this part 1-2 sessions. As always you explain all very clear.
    Your the man.

    Reply
  55. Alvin March 8, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Good info. Thanks Nial

    Reply
  56. Adek March 8, 2011 at 6:10 am

    You are a great guy,you never disappoint in your write-ups.Thanks

    Reply
  57. Patrick takawira March 7, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    very useful and practical information, well done and thank you for impacting nations with your articles, God bless you!

    Reply
  58. Igor March 7, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    Thank you Nial for very useful information I appreciate it very much.

    take care and keep up great job

    Igor from Stockholm

    Reply
  59. Todd March 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    Thanks again nial, great info.

    Reply
  60. tino rumac March 7, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    thanks Niall

    very informative and as always very educational

    thanks

    stay well

    Reply
  61. Michael Lee March 7, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    thanks for this this months articular you have answered my previous question which i think i emailed you
    thanks a million

    Reply
  62. Francis March 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    This makes sense.

    Reply
  63. S Taylor March 7, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Thanks for these essentials.

    Reply
  64. don from england March 7, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Hi Nial,
    Many thanks.
    I am very glad I live in the UK.
    Talk to you soon.
    Don

    Reply
  65. Dave March 7, 2011 at 2:54 am

    Everything you teach makes absolute sense with its clarity.

    Reply
  66. Nasir March 6, 2011 at 8:37 pm

    Insightful as always,Good one Nial…More power 2 ur elbows

    Reply
  67. Shannel March 6, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Thanks Nial, u r awesome.

    Your articles are clear and informative. I appreciate very much.

    I ve decided to sign up for your course coz i ve high respect for you. You can be a great mentor to me.

    God Bless u.

    Reply
  68. adewale March 6, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Great article from our exquisite forex pro.thanks

    Reply
  69. Herve March 6, 2011 at 4:38 am

    Thanks Nial, another good article!

    Reply
  70. Guy Derby March 5, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    Really interesting!
    I’m going to print this lesson and make it a part of my trading plan.

    Reply
  71. Zac March 5, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    I found Fridays to be the worse day for trading. The market is very unpredictable possibly because traders close their positions at the end of the week. I would only monitor any open positions on Fridays but never place new trades.

    Reply
  72. Charles March 5, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Great article! You Always explain in a very simple and easy way to understand. Thanks.

    Reply
  73. UCHE March 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Thanks Nial,am so impressed .this is excellent you articles and videos has taken me to the next level! Keep it up brother. ONE LOVE..,!

    Reply
  74. azmiharun March 5, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Thank Mr.Nial for your great time information. Now I am not a born looser anymore. Anyhow thanks again

    Reply
  75. Paul D March 5, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Nothing like the American market open – lunch. Great article and many trader’s need to make a decision about when they trade and stick to it!

    Reply
  76. Mohan Das March 5, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Very simple, clear, yet solid details. Very suitable for newcomers.

    Reply
  77. John March 5, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Excellent article
    Question – do NY, London and Tokyo traders commence at 8 AM and close 5 PM local time as the times you have quoted would change a little due to summer and winter time changes?

    John

    Reply
  78. Mark March 5, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Hi Nial

    Thanks for all the help and support over the last few months.
    Great article.
    Making good money now, which is what’s its all about.
    Your course was the best investment I have ever made.
    Keep the advice coming!

    Reply
  79. Nick March 5, 2011 at 6:08 am

    great info thank you Nial!!!!

    Reply
  80. Tyrone Kimble March 5, 2011 at 4:08 am

    Nial:

    Excellent article and really puts trading zones in perspective. With price action using daily charts this information is really not as important as all your previous teachings. Well written article just the same…

    Ty

    Reply
  81. Lanny March 5, 2011 at 2:41 am

    Thanks Nial,

    More confirmation as to when to trade. One thing to keep in mind is your health and relationships. Which is to say, get your sleep/rest and a quote I heard recently, “Happy wife, Happy life”.

    Reply
  82. Doug March 5, 2011 at 1:30 am

    Great work Nial. Your articles are much appreciated.

    Reply
  83. Francis March 5, 2011 at 1:28 am

    This is simply awesome advise. Learning not to over-trade is a skill nonetheless.

    Reply
  84. Kent March 5, 2011 at 1:05 am

    as usual great article , if one can trade only in EU session , what are the best time ? care to enlighten

    pls keep coming on the articles, is important not only know “HOW” but also “When” and “What” , the two article provides the information on “what to trade” and “when to trade”…..nice….

    Reply
  85. Ferdinand Arman March 4, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Excellent article. Very informative …

    Reply
  86. Galen March 4, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Mr. Fuller

    I appreciate the article, thanks.

    Reply
  87. Eddy March 4, 2011 at 11:06 pm

    Everything you do is excellent Nial. I am a member of your course and loving it. This article part 2 is big help, as was last weeks article part 1. Thank you sir.

    Reply
  88. Romad March 4, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Nial, I bought your course and trainings last week, I just wanted to say a big thank you and congratulations on the success of your community and thank you for all your lessons. Your help and trainings are superior. I made good pips on the EURUSD 4 hour fakey last night, Thanks again.

    Romad

    Reply
  89. David March 4, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    As usual Nial a very clear and well laid on piece. No complicated confusing stuff, just plain understandable information.

    Reply
  90. Jim March 4, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Thanks Nial, as always, another great lesson.

    Reply

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