Forex Market Hours: Is The Market Always Open?

20 November, 2014 (07:54) | personal finance investment | By: admin

The Forex market hours extend from Monday morning in Sydney, Australia to Friday afternoon in New York. During that time the market is open somewhere around the world at all hours of the day or night.

But it’s not always open, since it does close on weekends. 24/5 would be more accurate.

If you need to know the exact times that the markets open and close, you have to take time zones into account. It’s very simple when expressed in Universal Coordinated Time (UTC), formerly known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). This is the standard (winter) time in Greenwich, London which is the point of zero longitude on the globe.

Normally the Forex market is open from 22.00 UTC Sunday to 22.00 Friday UTC. This is 10 pm in England in winter.

New York is 5 hours behind the UK, so the global Forex market opens and closes on Sunday/Friday at 5 pm in New York, 2 pm on the West Coast of the US, 11 pm in Germany, and 8 am Monday/Saturday in Sydney.

Things get a little complicated when you take daylight saving time (DST) into account. This makes a one hour difference in countries that observe it. But DST operates in a different way in the southern hemisphere in countries like Australia where summer is from September to March instead of March to September.

The hours of the various major national markets are as follows:

Sydney: 10 pm to 7 am UTC
Tokyo: 12 midnight to 9 am UTC
London: 8 am to 5 pm UTC
New York: 1 pm to 10 pm UTC

Or we can express that in EST (Eastern U.S. Time):

Sydney: 5 pm to 2 am EST
Tokyo: 7 pm to 4 am EST
London: 3 am to 12 noon EST
New York: 8 am to 5 pm EST

You can see that they correspond to 24 hour coverage.

But this does not necessarily mean that trade will be good at all these times. Straight after a big market opens, prices can be volatile and unpredictable. Many traders will stay out of the Forex market up to an hour four times a day when financial markets are waking up in these big cities.

The U.S. Dollar is the most traded currency by a long way, involved in 2.5 times as many deals as its nearest rival, the euro. This means that events in the U.S. impact the financial markets more significantly than events in other countries. The New York market tends to slow down around 3 pm local time (8 pm UTC) and if you are involved in a US dollar pair, you may want to stop trading for the day.

So in theory, you can trade 24 hours a day from Sunday to Friday. Automated software in the form of a Forex robot can do this for you. All the same, a prudent trader will choose times and will not be active during all hours of the Forex market.

About the Author

Christopher Shepherd has been actively trading in the foreign exchange markets for the past 15 years. Recently he has been using his experience to write reviews of automatic forex software systems. This information as well as a series of informative posts about the forex market can be seen at http://forex-exchange-trading.com. Please also read his blog The Essentials Of Forex Trading.