The foreign exchange market, or forex market for short, is open 24 hours per day during the business week. New York, Tokyo, London and Sydney are the four major trading hubs of the global currency trade and each market has its own hours of operation. These hours overlap at times and because trading at peak hours generally means a better chance of making a profit, it is important for every trader to know when the markets are open.
The hours which you will see listed below are all in relation to US Eastern (New York) time. The New York Forex market is open from 8 am – 5 pm, the London market from 3 am to 12 pm, Tokoyo from 7 pm to 4 am and the Sydney market is open from 5 pm to 2 am.
The lower the volume of trade at a given time, the less money there is to be made; in most market, the first few and last few hours of operation are when the most trades are made. This is because these are the hours before traders leave for work and when they return home.
However, the best times of all to trade are when different markets have overlapping hours of operation. For many traders, this is the only time that they consider worth trading during.
These overlaps include the periods where London and New York overlap between 8am and 12pm. Sydney and Tokyo overlaps between 7pm and 2am. London and Tokyo overlap as well. This occurs between 3am and 4am. Again, all of these listed periods are based on United States Eastern time. If you are not on the East coast, you will need to adjust these periods accordingly.
These overlap periods are the peak hours for Forex trading. Naturally, some of these overlaps happen when you are likely to be asleep. You can try to adjust your sleep schedule to take advantage of these times if this is possible for you.
If not, at least try to trade during the hours when people are at home, and thus increasing the overall trade volume. The value of a commodity will not move much if there is no one online trading it, and these periods are for the most part a waste of your time.
If you are new to Forex trading, then you should memorize the hours when the markets are open and remember the best times to trade. After all, the goal is to make a profit and this is most likely to happen when you trade during peak hours.