Anybody getting into Forex trading needs to know the ideal Forex trading times. Unlike the stock market, the Forex market is open 24 hours during the business week, so there is a lot of flexibility. There are some hours during the day that are much better than others. So let's look at what are the best Forex trading times.
If you watch the currency markets for just a day or two you will quickly realize that some times are busier than others. This is because the trading floors in different parts of the world are open at different times. Forex is not truly a 24 hour market, it only seems that way because the time zones mean that it is always business hours somewhere in the world. So the busiest trading times are going to be during the business hours of the countries with the busiest financial trading floors.
Which countries are these? Surprisingly, the busiest of all is London. Even though the US dollar is the most heavily traded currency, the UK with its position on the edge of Europe and within 1 hour time difference of the other major financial centers of Europe including Zurich and Frankfurt, is the leading currency trading center of the world. Second comes New York.
So it will not come as a surprise to hear that the busiest Forex trading times are the hours when the trading floors in London and New York are both open. This is the overlap between the afternoon of the London session and the morning of the New York session. Ignoring any anomalies caused by the two countries not switching to and from summer time on the same dates, this is a three hour period from 8.00 to 11.00 EST (13.00 to 16.00 in London).
Generally speaking, this is the best time to be trading Forex. The exception might be if you are trading a cross pair such as AUD/JPY where there might be more activity during the Asian session. However, even this pair will also be busy during business hours in London.
When the markets are busiest you are most likely to get the prices that you want without slippage. Certainly for day traders and scalpers you want to be active at times when either London or New York is open, if not both.
However, extending to cover either one of these times gives you much greater flexibility which is an advantage if you are trying to trade Forex in your free time while holding down a day job. If you are in the EST time zone you can trade in the early mornings before your business day starts, when the London session is open. If you are in the UK or Europe you can trade in the evenings, when the New York session is still open.
If you are on the US west coast you can catch the London/New York overlap between 5.00 and 8.00 am PST. Forex trading times are flexible enough to suit just about anybody. Of course, if you use automated Forex trading systems, also known as Forex robots, you don't even have to think about the best Forex trading times. Your robot can trade for you 24 hours a day and never miss a trading opportunity.