What you need to know

Before you start trading, you must know about the various forex trading sessions and how they work. Equally important is that you understand how trading hours affect market volatility.

What are forex sessions?

The forex market is open for trading 24/5. Its trading hours are separated into sessions which overlap throughout the day and correspond to when the market opens in major financial centers.

There are three major sessions; Tokyo, London and New York.

  • The Tokyo session begins at 19:00 ET. Liquidity is thin, and trading revolves around Asia Pacific pairs like USDJPY and AUDUSD.
  • The London session begins at 03:00 ET. Activity is high, leading to lower costs and greater volatility. Pairs featuring the GBP and EUR tend to be in focus.
  • The New York session begins at 08:00 ET. Liquidity is at its highest in the early hours when it overlaps with London. Trading tends to revolve around the USD.

All times are indicative and may vary seasonally due to local holidays and Daylight Saving Time (DST).

Why is economic news important?

Economic news and data are released throughout a trading day, coinciding with the various sessions. As a forex trader, it is important to understand the role such releases play.

Major economic data about Asia is released during the Tokyo session that could impact the entire day. The London session sees the release of key European news which often adds to existing volatility. The USD is the world’s most traded currency, and announcements during the New York session can prove to be major market movers.

The added volatility that comes from such releases can lead to greater opportunities, but the risks are also higher. As a forex trader, you can avoid trading during these times or use tools like our economic calendar to plan around them. Either way, always remember to manage your risk appropriately.