Track the forex trading hours open and close times around the globe in a market that rarely sleeps…
Each timezone has its own trading hours, interlinking with neighbours as they drive liquidity cycles
The forex market opens each week during the Asian time zone, beginning with Auckland, New Zealand when the banking and financial sector starts up around 8 AM (21:00 hours GMT or thereabouts).
Thereafter begins a rolling progression of forex market opening times and closes around the globe.
Next to start is the eastern seaboard of Australia comprising the major financial centres of Melbourne and Sydney. The Australian session is only just getting under way when Tokyo opens 2 hours later, followed by Singapore an hour after that.
This overlapping of market sessions often gives rise to instability and volatility. It can provide great opportunities for trading, and at the same time expose beginning forex traders to great risk.
The new forex trader is well advised to study these times as they relate to their personal trading sessions and adjust their approach accordingly.
A further complication relates to the issue of daylight saving and other seasonal adjustments. Depending on where you live, and therefore whether or not local authorities adjust for daylight saving etc, market open and close times can change by one hour up to 4 times a year. Keep an eye on these seasonal clock adjustments, not just for your own time zone but for the major financial centres such as London and New York.
Above is a representation of the four major global time zones in forex, with open time countdowns updating in real time.
Note especially how the sessions overlap, beginning with the Australasian open in Sydney, progressing through Tokyo, then to London and on to New York.
There are also smaller but quite significant open and close events centred around Central/Eastern European nations such as Russia, and later in the day as Frankfurt opens an hour before London.
The Frankfurt open is especially interesting since it can often push price in one direction only to see a complete reversal when London begins trading!
These overlapping zones represent areas of likely volatility which I think of as “forex tidal wash” areas. If you have ever stood at the mouth of a river as it enters the ocean when the tide is changing you will have observed the turbulence and the washing of one stream of energy into, through and across the other.
In the area where I grew up these tidal washes attract sharks: they like to hunt in the camouflage of the swirling turmoil which also helps to confuse their prey. Does this remind you of times you have entered the market when volatility suddenly increased? I think you can see the connection; it is a time to exercise great caution.
The Three major Tidal Washes are:
Asian Tidal Wash after quiet start in Australia: Tokyo/Singapore opens
European tidal wash after Asia ends: Frankfurt/London opens
The New York Open / London Close tidal wash
A couple of resources that you may find helpful in keeping in tune with the various timeframes as they change during the year due to daylight savings etc. are the following:
http://www.worldtimezone.com/markets24.php : WorldTime zone – Daylight Savings Markets Clock
http://www.anuko.com : Anuko World Clock is a download for Windows that replaces the regular system clock with several time zones of your choosing. Includes a template for “World Clock for a Forex Trader”, among others.
The concept of forex market trading through different time zones and levels of volatility is a good place to introduce one safeguard a trader can use for these times if they are unable to watch to their open trades: a VPS service.
Click to go to VPS service