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Forex Market Open Times – session opens and closes

What time does the forex market open?

The Forex Market is open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week but we still need to know the forex open times…  sounds unusual? The answer lies in the fact that the forex day is split into ‘sessions’.

Forex is the largest financial market in the world and trades can be made at any time in a 24 hour period Monday to Friday, due to the overlaps in international time zones. 

There is always at least one Forex market open at any one time but it is worth bearing in mind that some trading sessions are much busier than others, and each has its own nuances.

The 4 major forex sessions, when are the markets open and closing

There are 4 major Forex trading sessions worldwide, London (Europe), New York (North American) , Sydney (Asia Pacific) and Tokyo (Asian). 

It is important that you know when each forex market opens and closes, and when markets overlap as otherwise you can easily get caught out by traders closing their positions at the end of their day. 

Of course it is not possible for you to trade Forex 24 hours a day, so it is wise to choose and watch one or two trading sessions closely.

This is where overlapping sessions can help you maximise your daily trades by delivering the volatility you will need. 

The table below depicts the open and closing times of each forex market at their respective local time alongside GMT and EST in both summer and winter periods.

Open and Closing Times (Summer)
MarketLocal TimeGMT+1EDT
London (GBP)8:00am – 4:00pm8:00am – 4:00pm3:00am – 11:00am
New York (USD)8:00am – 5:00pm1:00pm – 10:00pm8:00am – 5:00pm
Sydney (AUD)7:00am – 4:00pm10:00pm – 7:00am5:00pm – 2:00am
Tokyo (JPY)9:00am – 6:00pm1:00am – 10:00am8:00pm – 5:00am 

Open and Closing Times (Winter)
MarketLocal TimeGMTEST
London (GBP)8:00am – 4:00pm8:00am – 4:00pm3:00am – 11:00am
New York (USD)8:00am – 5:00pm1:00pm – 10:00pm8:00am – 5:00pm
Sydney (AUD)7:00am – 4:00pm8:00pm – 5:00am3:00pm – 12:00am
Tokyo (JPY)9:00am – 6:00pm12:00am – 9:00am7:00pm – 4:00am 

Keep a close eye on the forex session overlaps – market opens and closes give volatility

As mentioned above, overlaps in the market spawn opportune moments for trading.  When two markets overlap, there is a far higher volume of trades happening, and consequently adding higher volatility to help your trading strategy.

The higher volatility often means a higher profit can be made since it is inherently riskier but without any volatility trading just wouldn’t exist.

London/New York session – big and bold

The London and New York (GBP/EUR/CHF/USD) overlap is one of the most important because it includes the two largest major currencies traded by volume and the times when the two most active global trading centres are at work. 

Due to the similarity in timezones of London, Europe, and Africa, it also allows many of the other European currencies aswell as minors like South African Rand (ZAR) to be traded against the US Dollar. 

It is worth highlighting that during the London/New York session, 4 of the 5 ‘majors’ as far as forex trading go are active.

Tokyo/Sydney session – strong volume

The Tokyo and Sydney overlap (JPY/AUD) is not as active as the London and New York Overlap due to the fact that the majority of the US would be winding down from their day and closing out positions.

You should still find some decent volatility here than other times with the JPY being the third most traded currency and the rest of Asia is very much keeping active during this trading session..

Tokyo/London session overlap – short and sweet

The Tokyo/London session is short and largely meaningless to most traders, a least where volatility is concerned as the US and surrounds are asleep and London and Europe are still really just waking up or starting their day.

Some traders are adamant about only trading during very specific time windows and we look a little more at the best times of day to trade forex in a separate article.

Overlaps (Summer) 
MarketGMT +1EDT
London (GBP)  and New York (USD)1:00pm – 5:00pm9:00am – 1:00pm
Tokyo (JPY) and Sydney (AUD)12:00pm – 7:00am8:00pm – 3:00am
Tokyo (JPY) and London (GPB)8:00am – 9:00am4:00am – 5:00am
Overlaps (Winter)
London (GBP)  and New York (USD)12:00pm – 4:00pm8:00am – 12:00pm
Tokyo (JPY) and Sydney (AUD)11:00pm – 6:00am7:00pm – 2:00am
Tokyo (JPY) and London (GPB)7:00am – 8:00am3:00am – 4:00am

Now we know when we can trade around the world and what volatility we can expect, find out how the global markets are regulated and how they differ?