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

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.

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About Nial Fuller

is a Professional Trader who is widely considered ‘The Authority’ on Price Action Trading.
He has a monthly readership of 250,000+ traders and has taught 15,000+ students since 2008.
If you want to learn more about harnessing the power and simplicity of Nial’s Price Action Trading Strategies checkout his Professional Forex Trading Course.   -   You can Contact Nial here.

Join the Discussion. Click Here to Leave a Comment – 78 Comments.

  1. Daniel

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

    Reply
  2. emmanuel

    thanks for this great knowledge master

    Reply
  3. Manqoba Lukhele

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

    Reply
  4. Manqoba Lukhele

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

    Reply
  5. Awofeso

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

    Reply
  6. Ben

    Great,v.informative

    Reply
  7. sotoris

    thanks for the info

    Reply
  8. Leon

    Thank you so much Nial.

    Reply
  9. Sebastian

    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
  10. raimundo

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

    Reply
  11. Vincent

    Thanks for great article Nial! God Bless You!

    Reply
  12. maria

    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
  13. Jag

    Really very very helpful!!

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

    Reply
  14. IKPONMWOSA OSAGIE

    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
  15. Bennyslex

    GOD BLESS NIAL FULLER.

    Reply
  16. russ

    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
  17. livia

    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
  18. Nitka

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

    Reply
  19. clive

    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
  20. Thomas Sebastian

    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
  21. Shane

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

    Reply
  22. Pham

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

    Reply
  23. Sean

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

    Reply
  24. Billy Mckeown

    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
  25. jafaru

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

    Reply
  26. Stephen

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

    Reply
  27. Loreto

    Muchas gracias de nuevo, me encantan tus articulos.

    Reply
  28. Lola

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

    Reply
  29. Brooky

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

    Reply
  30. ohuzui

    Nial. thanks this is another great eye openner. ohuizu

    Reply
  31. Michal

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

    Reply
  32. Antonio Gutierrez

    Thanks; very nicely explained.

    Reply
  33. Jon

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

    Reply
  34. Anthony Flanders

    Thanks Nial, very useful info

    Reply
  35. albert

    thanks for your articles, just wonderful.

    Reply
  36. mike

    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
  37. Ajith

    Nial,

    An insightful article. My thanks and regards

    Ajith

    Reply
  38. Nompumelelo Madonsela

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

    Reply
  39. Raul L.

    Thanks Nial,great article

    Reply
  40. allan clarke

    Thanks Nial, as usual clear and concise explanation

    Reply
  41. Joshua

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

    Reply
  42. George

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

    Reply
  43. Alvin

    Good info. Thanks Nial

    Reply
  44. Adek

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

    Reply
  45. Patrick takawira

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

    Reply
  46. Igor

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

    take care and keep up great job

    Igor from Stockholm

    Reply
  47. Todd

    Thanks again nial, great info.

    Reply
  48. tino rumac

    thanks Niall

    very informative and as always very educational

    thanks

    stay well

    Reply
  49. Michael Lee

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

    Reply
  50. Francis

    This makes sense.

    Reply
  51. S Taylor

    Thanks for these essentials.

    Reply
  52. don from england

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

    Reply
  53. Dave

    Everything you teach makes absolute sense with its clarity.

    Reply
  54. Nasir

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

    Reply
  55. Shannel

    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
  56. adewale

    Great article from our exquisite forex pro.thanks

    Reply
  57. Herve

    Thanks Nial, another good article!

    Reply
  58. Guy Derby

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

    Reply
  59. Zac

    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
  60. Charles

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

    Reply
  61. UCHE

    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
  62. azmiharun

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

    Reply
  63. Paul D

    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
  64. Mohan Das

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

    Reply
  65. John

    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
  66. Mark

    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
  67. Nick

    great info thank you Nial!!!!

    Reply
  68. Tyrone Kimble

    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
  69. Lanny

    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
  70. Doug

    Great work Nial. Your articles are much appreciated.

    Reply
  71. Francis

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

    Reply
  72. Kent

    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
  73. Ferdinand Arman

    Excellent article. Very informative …

    Reply
  74. Galen

    Mr. Fuller

    I appreciate the article, thanks.

    Reply
  75. Eddy

    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
  76. Romad

    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
  77. David

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

    Reply
  78. Jim

    Thanks Nial, as always, another great lesson.

    Reply

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