Forex market hours: when is the best time of day to trade forex?

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 time to trade forex is.

Reviewed by Patrick Foot, Senior Financial Writer.

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 10pm (UTC) on Sunday – when the Sydney session starts – to 10pm on Friday 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 evening between 7 and 10pm (UTC) 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 10pm (UTC) on a Sunday evening to 10pm (UTC) on a Friday night. You’ll have the choice of trading 84 global FX pairs, with spreads from just 0.5 points.

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

Forex market session opening times

Forex trades 24 hours a day, but each session is only open for a part of that time. As trading around the clock would be near impossible, forex traders tend to focus their energy on specific sessions or time periods. The forex market session times are:

Local time Eastern Standard Time
Coordinated Universal Time
Start 7 am 5 pm 10 pm
4 pm
2 am 7 am
Start 9 am 7 pm 12 am
End 6 pm 4 am 9 am
Start 8 am 3 am 8 am
End 4 pm 12 am 4 pm
New York
Start 8 am 8 am 1 pm
End 5 pm 5 pm 10 pm

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.

When is the best time to trade forex?

The best time to trade forex is when the market is most active – this is when 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:

  • 1 pm to 4 pm (UTC) when both New York and London exchanges are open
  • 12 am to 7 am (UTC) when both Tokyo and Sydney exchanges are open
  • 8 am to 9 am (UTC) 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.

Tokyo London New York
EUR/USD 76 114 92
127 99
USD/JPY 51 66 59
AUD/USD 77 83 81
NZD/USD 62 72 70
USD/CAD 57 96 96
USD/CHF 67 102 83
EUR/JPY 102 129 107
GBP/JPY 118 151 132
AUD/JPY 98 107 103
EUR/GBP 78 61 47
EUR/CHF 79 109 84

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 market hours FAQ

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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