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This will be most useful to day traders, who need to trade intensively and must therefore make very effective use of their time. It is obvious that a currency usually fluctuates the most in value during the business hours of its country, due to international trade. This is complicated a bit by the fact that the global Forex market is dominated by the trades made in London and New York , where higher volumes of currency exchanges are conducted than anywhere else. Therefore, the most Forex price movement you are likely to see overall is during business hours in London and New York, with the peak time being the few hours when both centers are open simultaneously.
The best way to prove this is to compare average price movement by the major Forex currency pairs over the eight four-hour periods that make up the day, by London time:. The hours from 8am to Noon have been the second most active, representing the first few hours of the London business day. The hours at the end of the day around the New York close, before Tokyo opens, have shown the lowest average price movement.
If you are a day trader looking to benefit from trading the most volatile times of day, you are likely to do best by focusing on the active hours. This may be difficult if you live in a time zone far from UTC and you do not want to get up in the middle of the night. A final issue to consider about time of day: spreads , which represent the cost of trading, tend to be narrowest when the market is most active. Asian currency crosses may see their tightest cheapest spreads during the Asian sessions as a rule.
This question is important for all types of traders, as if the price tends to trend better or worse at a certain time of day, these might be the best or worst times for trade entries depending upon your trading strategy. We can answer this question by comparing what happened, on average, in the four hours after a day breakout in any of the three major Forex currency pairs, depending upon which time of day London time the breakouts happened:.
From this, we can conclude that traders looking to trade with the trend have had the greatest chance of getting the strongest price movement in their favor right away at about 4pm London time, with 8am a close second. Range traders are likely to do best between 8pm and Midnight.
The data presented above is derived from publicly available Forex price data released by a major Forex broker. The period of historical data used runs from the second half of until the second quarter of , covering a period of almost twenty years. The last few months of the calendar year have tended to see the strongest Forex trends, while the months of July and August have tended to produce low volatility and ranging prices. The time of both the greatest price movement and strongest trend usually takes place between Noon and 4pm London time.
The hours from 8am to Noon are usually the second-best time. The retail Forex market runs 24 hours daily during weekdays. Adam trades Forex, stocks and other instruments in his own account. He has previously worked within financial markets over a year period, including 6 years with Merrill Lynch. Learn more from Adam in his free lessons at FX Academy. We commit to never sharing or selling your personal information.
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Email address Required. While each exchange functions independently, they all trade the same currencies. The bids and asks in one forex market exchange immediately impact bids and asks on all other open exchanges, reducing market spreads and increasing volatility. This is certainly the case in the following windows:. The most favorable trading time is the 8 a. On the flipside, from 5 p. There can be exceptions, and the expected trading volume is based on the assumption that no major news developments come to light.
Political or military crises that develop during otherwise slow trading hours could potentially spike volatility and trading volume. Forex traders should proceed with caution because currency trades often involve high leverage rates of to 1. Once investors learn the ropes and become seasoned enough, then they can confidently begin making real trades.
The Balance does not provide tax, investment, or financial services and advice. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal. Corporate Finance Institute. Accessed April 23, Trading Forex Trading.
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David Rodriguez. It also becomes apparent that many of them have trouble becoming successful in forex because they are trading during the wrong time of day. These traders should avoid trading during the most active times of the trading day. Here is a chart of the profitable trades in FXCM accounts in the five most popular pairs, displayed by the hour of day:.
Click to Enlarge. You can see that this generally correlates with the low-volatility trading hours. Traders tend to see the best results during the low-volatility Asian session hours:. These tend to work well during low-volatility times, when support and resistance tends to hold. Range traders can incur significant losses when support or resistance is broken, which happens most often during the more volatile times of day. The results are not good. However, once we factor in the time of day, things become interesting.
This next chart shows the exact same strategy over the exact same time window, but the system does not open any trades during the most volatile time of day , 6 am to 2 pm ET 11 am to 7 pm London time. The difference is dramatic. By sticking to range trading only during the hours of 2 pm and 6 am ET, the typical trader would have been far more successful over the past ten years than the trader who ignored that time of day. What About Other Currency Pairs? Of course, not all currencies act the same.
To be efficient and capture the largest moves of the day, day traders hone in even further, often day trading only during a specific 3—4-hour window. The forex market operates hours a day during the week because there's always a global market open somewhere due to time zone differences. However, not every global market actively trades every currency, so different forex pairs are actively traded at different times of the day.
When the U. There is a significant increase in the amount of movement starting at , which continues through to After this, movement each hour begins to taper off, so there are likely to be fewer big price moves day traders can participate in.
Day traders should ideally trade between and GMT. Trading outside of these hours, the pip movement may not be large enough to compensate for the spread or commissions. Volatility changes over time, but the most volatile hours generally do not change too much. Note that daylight savings time may affect trading hours in your area.
During this period, you'll see the biggest moves of the day, which means greater profit potential, and the spread and commissions will have the least impact relative to potential profit. Also, London and New York are both open during this three-hour window.