The exchange market is open 24 hours a day, allowing you to trade the biggest market in the world, starting from Sunday at 10:00 PM BST with the Sydney trading session, followed closely by the Tokyo stock exchange and overlapping with overseas markets until 10:00 PM BST on Friday with the New York session close.
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The global Foreign exchange market is open for business around the clock, five days a week. The main advantage of the Forex hours is that United Kingdom (UK) currency traders can spot forex trading opportunities, even outside the regular UK forex trading hours. This is possible due to the fact that the Forex market can be divided into three major trading centres as follows:
Unlike the stock markets, which close at a particular time of the day, in the forex market, the trades are conducted over-the-counter. In the image below you can see how the world’s different time zones make 24 hours Forex trading possible:
The fourth-largest trading centre in the world is located in Sydney. Each trading day can be structured into these four trading sessions. The UK Currency traders will always have the opportunity to trade at any time of the day. The most critical thing to understand about the forex trading hours is that the trading volume is not equally distributed among the three major trading sessions.
The global minor trading centres around the world includes:
The best time to trade the forex market is during the London trading hours because the global market players are most active and doing business during this time of the day. When the London trading hours overlap the New York trading hours, that’s considered the most liquid time of the day.
The UK Forex traders can enjoy a volatile market and subsequently plentiful trading opportunities.
The forex trading hours in the United Kingdom (UK) correspond to the normal business hours in London. Based on the British Standard Time BST, the London session starts at 8:00 AM BST and closes at 4:00 PM BST. But, since the forex market opens with the Tokyo opening session at 1:00 AM BST and carries through until the New York session closes at 10:00 PM BST.
Please use the exclusive Forex Time Converter below, if you live in a different time zone.
Forex Market Time Converter
As a general rule, the Pound crosses will usually be most active during the regular London trading hours. While the GBP crosses are actively traded around the clock, they tend to be traded more during the hours when the UK market is open.
The reason behind this trading phenomenon is that the economic data relevant and more impactful for the Sterling are released during the UK business hours.
The chart below outlines the forex market hours of all the major trading sessions using the UK BST as the base time.
These are the most important trading hours and the most important times to trade in the foreign exchange market:
The market is constantly open for business from Sunday to Friday evening. There is always going to be a financial centre open around the world.
The UK session overlaps the USA session for about four hours, between 1:00 PM BST and 4:00 PM BST. During this trading time slot, liquidity tends to increase a lot, providing more trading opportunities. There is no assurance that this time slot will produce the same type of trades regularly.
It’s important to note that the UK Daylight Saving Time enters into effect on the last Sunday in June. The UK clock goes back 1 hour when the DST goes into effect.
Countries around the world shift to daylight saving time on different days, which will cause a misalignment between the major trading sessions
A volatile market where trading activity abounds will give you a good opportunity to spot profitable trading signals that can’t be noticed in slow trading sessions, which can waste your time and efforts.
The trading activity can be interrupted during the weekdays only by a bank holiday or national holidays, in which case all business operations are partially suspended or suspended.
Due to the lack of liquidity available on a bank holiday, it’s recommended to not get involved in currency trading. Most major currency pairs can experience erratic behaviour, price whipsaws, and inconsistent price movements which are unpredictable.
The straightforward answer is that you don’t need multiple UK Forex brokers to trade across the 24-hours FX market. The retail forex trading brokers are open for business at any time during the day or night, 24 hours a day, five days a week. From the Wellington opening in New Zealand until the North American market closes on Friday, the forex market is continuously operating without any interruptions.
The sustained liquidity of the Forex market is established on the grounds that there’s always a financial centre open somewhere around the world. The forex market operates through computer-based networks known as the Electronic Communication Network (ECN), which facilitates forex brokers and currency traders to trade with each other without a middleman and from different geographical regions of the world.
1) What time do forex markets open in UK
The forex markets open at 8:00 AM UK time, one hour after the Frankfurt financial centre opens.
2) What time do forex markets close in the UK?
The forex markets close at 4:00 PM UK time, when the London Stock Exchange (LSE) closes.
3) Does forex trade on weekends?
Due to the over-the-counter environment in which currencies are traded, Forex transactions can also be conducted over the weekend. However, this is limited and exclusive to the big banks and institutions. The currency trading operations conducted through the retail Forex brokers are usually suspended over the weekend.
Knowing the right time to trade is one of the most important factors in becoming a successful forex trader. Although the forex market trades around the clock 24-hours a day, not all trading sessions and hours of the day provide the same amount of quality trade signals.
The best time to trade currencies is the time when the market is experiencing the highest currency volume. For example, during the Asia trading hours, there is less currency volume and subsequently, the Forex exchange rates tend to move in very narrow trading ranges. So, trading the Asia session requires a short-term focus.
On the other hand, during the London trading hours, the currency pairs are more actively traded and the trading volume starts to pick up. According to the BIS data, the London New York session gathers most of the daily volume.
The Bank for International Settlement survey shows that more than 30% of all forex transactions happen during the London session. The banks and major FX players are very active during this session, which leads to a lot of trading activities in most currency pairs.
The forex currency pairs can experience the highest FX volume activity during:
1) Central Banks Interest Rate Decision
Central bank interest rate decisions such as the BOE rate decision can have an extreme impact on the GBP currency trend. These are long-lasting macro forces that motivate big investors to either dump or buy one particular currency pair. It’s paramount to know when the key interest rate announcements are scheduled, as this will generate above-average FX volume activity.
2) Government Reports
Other trading hours traders must keep an eye on for generating significant trading volume are:
National governments have a big impact on the currency market since they are the ones who establish monetary policies and can even intervene in the market by manipulating their currency exchange rate.
The economic factors that make the government take certain actions are important to pay attention to them because they may alter the FX currency trends.
3) Open/Close of Major Trading Sessions
While each trading session has its own hours of operations, during the open and the close of these trading sessions we can notice the market is having greater volatility, especially during the opening of the London trading session and New York trading session. UK bank traders have a big inventory of large orders that they need to execute for their clients.
Because the first half of the US session overlaps with the European session this period is usually the most liquid time of the day when trading opportunities abound.
You should start trading the currency markets with FCA regulated UK forex brokers that are open for business around the clock when the forex market is open. Here is a breakdown of the most essential features the UK forex trading brokers must offer:
The most important feature of a Forex broker is its trading platform. The world’s best Forex trading platform is the well-known MetaTrader 4 platform or MT4 trading platform. The MT4 user-friendly interface offers an abundant range of technical tools that can satisfy all your trading needs. When you open a live forex trading account, the broker needs to offer you access to a user-friendly trading platform.
A good forex broker offers its clients reasonable trading costs. To have the privilege of conducting business in the foreign exchange market, most forex trading brokers will charge their clients a commission or the spread. A forex broker will make money through these two methods (commission and spread) or a combination of the two. A well-respected forex broker will offer its customers low spreads and sometimes even commission-free trading.
A reputable forex broker needs to be recognised as placing high value over their client satisfaction. When you open a new trading account, make sure it’s fairly easy to reach your broker. While the customer support service is supported in the mother tongue English, being available in multiple languages, highlights the value they put on their clients. Additionally, the customer service needs to have multiple channels of communications like phone, email and live chat.
Trading high leverage products such as Forex and CFDs involves high-risk and substantial danger of losing your account balance. A well-respected UK Forex broker should offer in terms of risk management tools the following trading features:
– Guaranteed Stop Loss Orders (GSLOs) – Negative Balance
Like with all investment products, minimizing the risk should be your number one priority. This will guarantee you’ll minimize the Forex risk and subsequently you’ll protect your trading account from a potential blowout.
The UK enjoys the most powerful regulatory bodies in the world. When trading through a UK regulated broker, you have the protection of trading under the umbrella of a top-tier regulatory body. All brokers trading in the UK such as CMC Markets or Oanda is regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). The protection offered to client money is up to £85000 and additionally, all FCA regulated brokers must keep client funds in segregated accounts.
There is no standard minimum deposit required by the UK forex trading brokers. You can start trading with as low as $100, but it’s recommended to be well-capitalised so you can face the up and down swings in the currency exchange rate. The FCA regulated brokers are fairly accessible to the UK retail traders, and the bar to entry in the forex market is very low.
To find the best forex broker in the UK, you need to pick a broker that offers its customers a broad range of products and services, including educational resources that can teach you advanced trading concepts. To enhance your learning curve, you need to have access to various educational tools that can place you ahead of the crowd. The Swissquote learning centre consists of a wealth of educational tools that can boost your trading education. Make sure you open a demo trading account before you risk any of your hard-earned money.
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Retail investor accounts wanting access to financial markets can sign up with a forex and CFD broker. If you are a beginner trader, it is recommended to utilise demo accounts before you start trading with real money. When signing up for a new trading account, you will be required to make a minimum deposit and choose a base currency. Different brokers offer varying base currencies, yet common options include currencies such as USD, EUR, JPY or AUD. Forex brokers may also allow scalping or copy trading which automate forex trading on financial markets.
When trading forex via retail investor accounts, you will be trading financial instruments called contracts for difference (CFDs). CFDs allow speculating on future price movements without buying or selling the underlying asset. For instance, if you want to take advantage of high volatility in the EUR/USD, you can trade EUR/USD CFDs with no need to exchange the physical currency.
Justin Grossbard has been investing for the past 20 years and writing for the past 10. He co-founded Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 after working with the foreign exchange trading industry for several years. He also founded a number of FinTech and digital startups including Innovate Online and SMS Comparison. Justin holds a Masters Degree and an Honours in Commerce from Monash University. He and his wife Paula live in Melbourne, Australia with his son and Siberian cat. In his spare time, he watches Australian Rules Football and invests on global markets.