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Forex Market Hours and The 3 Major Forex Sessions - Forex Market Sessions Explained

New York Close - London Close - Tokyo Close - New York, London and Tokyo Forex Market Sessions

The forex market is a 24 hours market; it opens on Sunday night (5 PM EST) and closes on Friday afternoon (4PM EST) - open 5 and a half days a week.

However, even though the forex market is open 24 hours a day, as a forex trader you need to realize that certain times of day are more suitable for placing trades than others and you need to know the most active market hours in order for you to devise an effective and time-efficient forex trading strategy.

To maximize the number of trading opportunities during these forex market hours, it is important to be aware of the times when the market is busiest. This is the time that most currency trade transactions activity occurs.

Even though there is no official open and close time during the week for the forex market, forex market hours can be broken up into 3 major forex market sessions - Tokyo, London and New York sessions.

However, although it seems not to be very important at the beginning, the right time to trade is one of the most crucial points required to be a successful trader.

The best time to trade the market is when the market is most active and therefore has the biggest volume of forex trade transactions. A more active forex market creates a good chance to make some profit while a calm and slow market is literally a waste of time - turn off your computer and don't even bother trading forex at this time.

Not all the market times are suitable for placing trades, that's because the market volatility changes too much during the 24 hours. Below is a table outlining the schedule of Forex Market Sessions. The time used is GMT 0

Forex Market Hours Trading Chart - New York Forex Session - London Forex Session - Tokyo Forex Market Sessions - Forex Market Hours - Forex Market Overlaps and The 3 Major Forex Trading Sessions

The 3 major forex market sessions are:

  1. Asian Session Hours( Tokyo Market Session ): 00:00 - 9:00 GMT
  2. European Session Hours( London Market Session ): 7:00 - 17:00 GMT
  3. U.S. Session Hours( New York Market Session): 13:00 - 22:00 GMT

Forex Sessions Overlaps - Best Forex Trading Times - Forex Market Session Overlaps

There are hours when two forex market sessions are overlapped:

London + Tokyo overlap - 7:00 - 9:00 GMT

New York + London overlap - 13:00 - 17:00 GMT

At these overlapping forex market hours you will find the highest volume of forex currency trade transactions and therefore there are more likely chances to make winning trades during these hours when there is market session overlaps.

For example, the EURUSD and GBPUSD currency pairs would give good results between 13:00 - 17:00 GMT when two forex market sessions of Europe and USA for those currencies are open.

This means that the lion share of currency exchange forex trade transactions is happening between the London market session and US market sessions. Naturally this is the best time to trade for traders who want to improve their chances of making profits when trading the forex market.


The currency prices moves a lot during the New York Market Session and London Market Sessions because Multinational companies, hedge funds, managed funds and banks are open for transacting.

Multinationals will transact currencies during this time to facilitate international business transactions and commerce, hedge funds and managed funds will trade currencies for investment purposes, banks on the other hand will exchange a lot of money on behalf of their clients, maybe tourists wanting to travel around the globe or just anyone wanting to exchange money so as to buy something in another country or make some transaction.

This makes the forex market very liquid at this time when these two market sessions are open and the high volume of forex trade transactions means that currencies prices move a lot more during these overlapping market session hours. At this time the currencies will generally move in particular direction and form a short term forex trend.

As a trader you also want to join in and trade when everyone is placing their forex orders as this is the time there is enough liquidity and many opportunities for opening trades and a forex trader is more likely to make trades that are profitable by trading during these times when the forex market is most active, and because there is a lot of liquidity the currency price movement will generally be more predictable unlike when there is little liquidity and the currency price movement becomes unpredictable and the forex prices can move in a range bound with no particular direction.

Once you trade currencies for a while you will get to know that is easier to trade the forex market when there is a trend and you are more likely to make profitable trades when the forex market is moving up or moving down in a trend, unlike when the market is in a range bound and moving sideways - which makes the forex market price movement prone to whipsaws during these range bound sideways market moves.

Asian Market Session Characteristics:

  1. Least volatile of the three forex market sessions
  2. Account for 15% of daily forex trade transaction turnover
  3. Typical 20 -30 pip moves

European Market Session Characteristics:

  1. Most volatile of the three forex market sessions
  2. 35% of daily forex trade transaction volume
  3. Typical 90 -150 pip moves

US Market Session Characteristics:

  1. 2nd most volatile of the three forex market sessions
  2. Accounts for 25% of daily forex trades turnover
  3. Focuses on US economic news

US and Europe Session Market Overlaps Characteristics:

  1. Combines the two most volatile forex trading market sessions
  2. Accounts for 60% of total daily forex trade transaction turnover
  3. Focuses on USA and European economic news
  4. Fast moving currency prices and currency pair short term trends in a particular direction
  5. Typical 100 -150 pip moves for major forex currency pairs

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