Forex market hours run 24 hours a day across 4 major forex trading sessions. This forex trading hours guide will teach you the times forex markets open for trading. Trading in busy times means more liquidity and this can impact your trading strategies.
What Are The Forex Trading Hours For Currency Traders?
One of the most appealing elements of foreign exchange trading is the amount of time the markets are open. Unlike the stock market, which has very rigid trading hours, Australian currency traders can trade 24/5 from 7:00 am on Monday.
The graph below shows how foreign exchange markets are open 24 hours and the most popular trading times when sessions overlap on global currency markets. The chart demonstrates how markets around the world are interlinked, with a major forex market open somewhere around the world making it open 24 hours until Friday afternoon in the United States (New York time).
Traders in Australia will mostly be trading during the Sydney session hours. In Australian time (AEST), each market opens at the following times (subtract one hour for daylight saving time):
- Sydney: 7:00 to 16:00 with 8:00 to 11:00 being the busiest time
- Tokyo: 9:00 to 16:00
- London: 17:00 to 1:00
- New York: 22:00 to 7:00
If you’re located in the UK, then view our UK forex hours page, which has all the time zone shifts for British Standard Time.
Best Time To Trade Forex In Australia (AEST)
Based on Australian Eastern Standard Time (EST), forex market hours are Sydney, 7:00 am – 4:00 pm AEST; at 9:00 am the Tokyo (Japan) forex market opens and then before it closes, the London market comes online at 5:00 pm; New York opens at 10:00 pm and closes at 7:00 am when the Sydney (and New Zealand) Forex market opens again.
Most trading occurs when both the American, European & UK Forex market hours are open from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am AEST during winter. In summer these hours shift from 12:00 am to 4:00 am due to daylight saving all in local time.
Generally, the opening and closing times of a market are the most important periods, as it often sets the tone for the trading session and can have very high liquidity (especially in the first/last few minutes).
Bank Holidays (Public Holidays)
During selected key national bank holidays (known as public holidays by Australians) a country’s currency market may close, limiting the overall forex trading sessions. Worldwide, days such as Easter and Christmas lead to all currency markets closing. Normally when there is a national USA bank holiday, the worldwide currency markets that do trade do so at lower levels.
Do I Need Multiple Forex Brokers To Trade All Hours?
The simple answer is no. Almost any Australian forex broker has the ability to access any currency market when open and trade multiple currencies across a trading day. Just because Asian markets (i.e. Japanese) are the only ones open doesn’t mean you couldn’t trade currency pairings such as AUD/USD to EUR/USD.
An interesting fact is that AUD/USD is actually traded the most when the Australian market is closed, highlighting the opportunities that exist for currency traders all the time. It is possible that volatility for these currency pairings will be lower during different periods of the day. But with currency markets volume being multiples of worldwide share markets, there is always an opportunity to trade.
All Australian forex trading brokers are open at least 24/5. If the broker is a market maker or uses a dealing desk, then you will be restricted to trading only from when the Australian markets open on Monday morning till the end of US trading on Friday (or for Australians early Saturday). Not only can you trade through their forex trading platforms, but the currency brokers also keep customer service open during all of these forex trading hours. This is critical if you require assistance even during the early hours of the morning.
On the other hand, if you are using an ECN broker for trading, then trading may be done 24/7. ECN technology allows for trading to be done during all hours because it uses technology to automatically match your order to the best prices on offer in the market. It does not require brokers and liquidity providers to be active in executing and accepting trades.
This is especially handy for those who are not able to trade during conventional market session hours or are using automated trading. If you are using an ECN account, you will need to check with your broker if they allow trading when the market closes.
At What Trading Hours Do Currency Pairings Fluctuate The Most?
There are no set Forex trading hours when currency paring historically fluctuates the most. While volume/liquidity is the highest when multiple markets are open (e.g. when the London and New York markets are open) this doesn’t necessarily mean the currency will fluctuate more. There are though a few general events that can lead to currency pairings having large changes including:
When markets open:
When a new country’s currency exchange market often opens, the first few minutes will see some larger price fluctuation as traders enter the market factoring in movements that have occurred in previous markets. This also impacts the currencies traded from the AUD, JPY, EUR, and GBP to the USD.
When rate decisions are made:
Countries’ central banks such as the RBA make rate announcements on the same day of the month and at a set time. These announcements directly impact relevant currency pairs and increase currency trading. Knowing the key reserve bank dates and times is critical for any trader.
When economic data is released:
Like the reserve bank announcements, government departments regularly release economic performance figures from terms of trade to warehouse orders and production. Like rate announcements, these directly impact currency pairings and can see large fluctuations. In 2015, the Chinese announcements led to the largest fluctuations worldwide’
When multiple market sessions are active:
There are times when multiple markets around the world are open at the same time and those correlating times make the market especially volatile. For example, when the North American New York session starts the US Dollar is particularly volatile. The same goes for the London session and the pound (especially seen in the forex pair GBP/USD), and the Tokyo session with the Japanese yen. This effect is compounded when multiple sessions are open at the same time, for example, the crossover of the New York session and the London session.
There is a similar effect with some smaller markets around the world, for example, Germany’s Frankfurt session has an effect on the Euro price, and the Hong Kong & Singapore sessions have an effect on the Asian markets.
What Australian Forex Broker Features Suit Traders?
Australia has the 7th highest interest in forex trading worldwide. To cater to this demand there is a plethora of forex brokers regulated by ASIC which differ by a few different factors:
Without leverage, making sizeable profits or losses would be near impossible. While leverage is a great benefit when foreign exchange trading, it also increases your risk profile. Only those with experienced trading activity and a high level of risk appetite should accept a broker’s maximum leverage.
There are two ways CFD brokers make money. One way is through spreads which is the difference between the buy and sell rates. The second way is to set commissions based on trading volume. It’s important to work out the volume you plan to trade and then work out which broker will provide you with the best value for money. This can be based on average spreads/commissions. Generally, ECN brokers which allow you to make trades directly without liquidity providers, offer lower spreads than market makers.
With currency markets existing often overseas, having fast connections to these markets is critical when individuals trade forex. Making sure that your Fx broker not only has fast connections to overseas markets (e.g. through optic fibre cables) combined with fast servers will help give you the edge when trading outside of Australian market hours. It also reduces slippages. This happens when your order is filled lower/higher than when you placed the order due to the delays in execution speeds. Some brokers have one-click trading, which allows you to execute your trades with one click, thus saving time. Pepperstone offers some of the fastest execution speeds in the industry.
While all forex brokers offer stop/loss features when trading, it is possible to exceed loss levels set due to slippage. Because of the high levels of risk, traders may select a broker that offers guaranteed stop-loss orders. This means they can’t lose more than a set amount for a trade. Another fail-safe broker’s offer is negative balance protection. This is where brokers automatically exit CFDs traders from the market when their deposit level reaches a $0 balance. Even if slippage does occur, the broker pays the difference. Reading the risk warnings of brokers is important before trading currency.
It is also important to understand what country regulates the broker. Australian regulation is considered one of the premium regulators requiring brokers to have training requirements and to segregate clients’ funds into separate accounts. As with any investment product, if it’s too good to be true, it normally is. Play it safe by ensuring the broker has an Australian Financial Services Licence with a good reputation and market share. All brokers trading in Australia such as IC Markets and Pepperstone are regulated by ASIC (Australian Securities Investment Commission). These brokers hold an AFSL licence.
Most brokers will offer a range of day trading accounts to suit your needs. These will typically include standard accounts, which will have a fee for each trade executed instead of a commission. These accounts tend to be best if you wish to keep your trade costs simple. Brokers will often have a second type of account, which will base commissions on transactions. These accounts are best suited for high-volume forex traders, as there can be substantial savings when trading using a commission.
When you open a new trading account, the broker will require a minimum deposit. Some brokers do not require any deposit to simply open an account while others have a minimum of $200. You will need to add some funds if you do want to execute actual trades.
Good brokers offer resources such as forex training materials, forex markets reviews, and forex news to help you learn about forex trading and happenings in the forex world. A comprehensive video tutorial series is offered by IC Markets to help you get started with your trading education. There is also a range of technical analysis resources.
You can view our best forex brokers Australia page to compare low-spread brokers regulated by ASIC.