The forex market is global and is open 24 hours a day on weekdays:

  • It opens at 0:00 CET (GMT + 2) on Monday
  • It closes at 22:00 CET (GMT + 2) on Friday
  • It's closed on Saturday and Sunday as most banks are shut and liquidity is low

There are four regional trading sessions:

  • Asia – Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore
  • Europe – Frankfurt and London
  • America – New York and Chicago
  • Pacific – Wellington and Sydney

Each session has unique characteristics; you need to understand these to get the most out of each market.

Asia

The most active currency pairs traded in this session are as follows:

  • USDJPY - US dollars to Japanese Yen
  • EURUSD - US dollars to Euros
  • EURJPY - Euros to Japanese Yen
  • AUDUSD - Australian dollars to US dollars

Europe

This is an active session, and there can be significant exchange rate fluctuations due to the trading volume of Euro-based financial instruments:

  • Volatility increases when the London market opens
  • Activity decreases during lunch
  • Activity rises again during the afternoon

America

The most active forex trading begins when New York opens and European traders return from lunch. The American session has the following characteristics:

  • Volatility is low since American and European banks have similar levels of influence
  • Volatility can increase once European markets close – especially on Fridays
  • Trading is aggressive

Pacific

Trading is quiet during the Pacific session.

When are the markets open?

All times are shown as CET (GMT + 2).

The schedule of trading sessions

Forex Market Hours
Region City Open Close
ASIATokyo1:009:00
Hong Kong2:0010:00
Singapore1:009:00
EUROPEFrankfurt7:0015:00
London8:0016:00
AMERICAChicago15:0023:00
Chicago15:0023:00
PACIFICWellington21:005:00
Sydney21:005:00