Forex market hours: the best forex trading times in Australia

The forex market is the largest and most active financial market in the world, known for its round-the-clock trading. Discover our global FX market hours and when the best forex trading times for Australian traders are.

What are the forex market hours?

Forex market hours run 24-hours a day during the week, but the market is closed on weekends. This continuous trading is only possible because forex is traded all over the world in decentralised venues.

Forex market hours are broken up into four major trading sessions: Sydney, Tokyo, London and New York. These are the largest trading centres, accounting for nearly 75% of FX daily volume. The market is open from 08:00 (AEST) on Monday – when the Sydney session starts – to 08:00 (AEST) on Saturday when the New York session closes for the weekend.

At any point in time, there’s always one forex session open although there are periods of downtime when the market is quiet – usually in the morning between 05:00 and 08:00 (AEST) when New York is winding down before Sydney starts.

Our forex trading hours

With City Index, you can trade forex 24-hours a day from 08:00 (AEST) on a Monday morning to 08:00 (AEST) on a Saturday morning. You’ll have the choice of trading 84 global FX pairs, with spreads from just 0.5 points with a standard CFD account or from 0.0 pips with our new Raw FX account.*

Learn more about FX trading with us or open an account to get started.

*Under certain circumstances zero spreads will not be possible.

Forex market session opening times

The opening time of the forex market depends on which of the four forex trading sessions you’re interested in:

As trading around the clock would be near impossible, forex traders tend to focus their energy on specific sessions or time periods. Let’s look at the forex trading session hours in more detail.

Sydney session

  Local time Eastern Standard Time (EST) Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) Australian Eastern Standard time (AEST)
Open 08:00 17:00 22:00 08:00 
16:00 01:00 06:00 16:00 

Tokyo session

  Local time Eastern Standard Time (EST) Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) Australian Eastern Standard time (AEST)
Open 09:00 19:00 12:00  10:00
18:00 04:00 09:00  12:00

London session

  Local time Eastern Standard Time (EST) Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) Australian Eastern Standard time (AEST)
Open 08:00 03:00 08:00  18:00
16:00 11:00 16:00  02:00

New York session

  Local time Eastern Standard Time (EST) Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) Australian Eastern Standard time (AEST)
Open 08:00 08:00 13:00  23:00
17:00 17:00 22:00  08:00

It’s important to be aware that forex open and close times will also vary based on the time of year, as countries that shift to and from daylight savings will alter market hours in March, April, October and November.

Best forex trading times Australia

The best time to trade forex in Australia is – like in any other region – when the market is most active because you’ll get the narrowest spreads and best chance of executing a trade at your desired levels. 

The forex market is usually most active when the market hours overlap between sessions, as this is when the number of traders buying and selling each currency increases. The overlap windows for exchanges are:

  • 23:00 to 03:00 (AEST) when both New York and London exchanges are open
  • 10:00 to 17:00 (AEST) when both Tokyo and Sydney exchanges are open
  • 18:00 to 19:00 (AEST) when both Tokyo and London exchanges are open 

The first of these windows, between New York and London, is possibly the most important. These two centres account for over half of all forex trades.

By looking at the average pip movement of the major currency pairs during each forex trading session, we can see that the London session has the most movement.

Pair Sydney Tokyo London New York
AUD/USD 41  35  55  29 
AUD/JPY  61  41  53  29 
EUR/CHF  24  19  39  25 
EUR/GBP 20  18  30  20 
EUR/JPY 79  60  68  46 
EUR/USD  32  28  56  34 
GBP/JPY  99  63  91  52 
GBP/USD  49  44  81  43 
NZD/USD  41  33  52  27 
USD/CAD  35  33  66  32 
USD/CHF  36  31  58  38 
USD/JPY  90  68  87  55 
Combined average 51  39  61  36 

However, the best time for you to trade forex will depend on which currency pair you’re looking at. As a rule, the most liquidity for each FX pair will occur when the sessions for the pair overlap – if both locations are open at the same time. For example, GBP/USD will experience a higher trading volume when both London and New York sessions are open.

It’s also important to be aware that high trading activity also leads to high volatility. While some traders like the opportunities that volatility can bring, others do not – either way, it’s vital to have a risk management strategy in place.

Forex trading holidays

As an over-the-counter market, forex trading holidays work differently than other markets that rely on the opening hours of institutions. Forex trading in some capacity is usually available all year round, so you’ll need to watch out for the specific hours of your broker or bank.

During bank holidays, most banks don’t process market orders, which causes a drop in the overall trading volume, liquidity and volatility of the market. Day traders and scalpers usually don’t trade during bank holidays as the lower liquidity usually leads to higher transaction costs due to higher spreads.

Forex holidays are different for specific countries. For example, on regular bank holidays in Australia, such as Christmas Day, Boxing Day or Australia Day, there’s usually a drop in the trading volumes of the Australian dollar.

View our market hours support page for more on FX holiday hours.

Frequently asked questions about forex trading

How much money is traded on the forex market daily?

Approximately $7.5 trillion is traded on the forex market daily. Over 50% of these daily trades take place when the New York and London sessions overlap, making this one of the most popular times to trade to take advantage of the high turnover.

Discover the best times to trade forex.

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What moves the forex market?

Forex markets are moved by factors such as economic data, central bank announcements and political uncertainty. When you’re trading FX, it’s important to remember you’re speculating on two currencies, so you’ll need to monitor market movers in each country. Forex will be more widely traded around these events.

Learn more about the forex market.

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