The foreign exchange market is a global decentralized market for the trading of currencies. The international currency market isn’t dominated by a single market exchange but involves a global network of exchanges and brokers around the world. Forex trading hours are based on when trading is open in each participating country. Since these financial centers are located in different time zones, traders can enjoy a seamless 24-hour trading environment through retail brokerage firms, like VFS. Trading begins every Sunday during the Asian session at 5:00 PM ET and ends on Friday at 4:54 PM EST.
There is no unified or centrally cleared market for the majority of trades. Due to decentralized currency markets, there are rather a number of interconnected marketplaces, where different currencies instruments are traded. The main trading centers are United Kingdom, United States, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Australia, and France. The trading times of these centers are lumped into three sessions known at the Asian, European, and North American sessions.
|Sydney Open||6:00 PM||10:00 PM|
|Sydney Close||3:00 AM||7:00 AM|
|Tokyo Open||7:00 PM||11:00 PM|
|Tokyo Close||4:00 AM||8:00 AM|
|London Open||3:00 AM||7:00 AM|
|London Close||12:00 PM||4:00 PM|
|New York Open||8:00 AM||12:00 PM|
|New York Close||5:00 PM||9:00 PM|
|Sydney Open||4:00 PM||9:00 PM|
|Sydney Close||1:00 AM||6:00 AM|
|Tokyo Open||6:00 PM||11:00 PM|
|Tokyo Close||3:00 AM||8:00 AM|
|London Open||3:00 AM||8:00 AM|
|London Close||12:00 PM||5:00 PM|
|New York Open||8:00 AM||1:00 PM|
|New York Close||5:00 PM||10:00 PM|
After the weekend, the Asian session is the first major market to open, and many traders around the world use it as a benchmark for the upcoming trading day. The Asian trading session begins with the opening of the market in Sydney. However, the real market volatility begins when Tokyo market begins. Other important financial centers in Asia include Singapore and Hong Kong. However, there are many other countries with considerable pull that are present during this period including China, Australia, New Zealand and Russia, among others. The most volatile pairs during this session include the GBP/JPY, GBP/CHF, USD/JPY, and AUD/JPY.
Later in the trading day, just before the Asian trading hours come to a close, the European session takes over in keeping the currency market active. This FX time zone is very dense and includes a number of major financial markets that could stand in as the symbolic capital.
London is the major center in defining the parameters for the European session. The other major centers include Paris, Frankfurt, Zurich. The most active currencies in this session are the GBP, EUR, and CHF.
North American Session
When the North American session comes online, the Asian markets have already been closed for a couple of hours, but the day is only halfway through for European FX traders. The Western session is influenced by activity in the US, with a few contributions from Canada, Mexico and other countries in South America. Not surprisingly, activity in New York marks the high in volatility as well as participation for the session in North American Forex market.