Forex Market Hours: Can You Trade Any Time?

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 times of day or night.

But it’s not always open, as 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, then you should take into account time zones. 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 UTC Friday. This is 10 pm in England during the winter.

New York is 5 hours behind UK, which means the global Forex market opens and closes on Sunday/Friday at 5 pm in New York, 2 pm on the west coast of USA, 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. That makes an hour difference in countries that observe it. However, DST works in a different way in the southern hemisphere in countries such as Australia, where summer is 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 put it 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 match up to 24 hours coverage.

This does not necessarily mean that trading is a good idea at all these times. Right after a big market opens, the prices are frequently volatile and unpredictable. Many Forex market traders will stay away four times a day when financial markets are waking up in these major centers.

The United States dollar is the most traded currency by a landslide, as it is involved in 2.5 times as many deals as its nearest rival, the euro. This means that events in the U.S. affect financial markets more significantly than events in other countries. The New York market will tend to slow down around 3 pm local time (8 pm UTC), and if you are involved in a 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 individual chooses their times and will not operate 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 the best 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 Getting Started As a Foreign Exchange Trader.

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Benefits of the Forex Market: 8 Great Reasons to Trade

Forex trading has been around for over 30 years, but until the advent of the Internet was almost entirely in the hands of banks and other institutions with large investment funds. This day ordinary people can participate, even if financial institutions are still the major players. When I say that about U.S. 4 trillion changes hands every day in the markets in Forex, you will realize that only a small part of it belongs to ordinary people like you and me.

To get started, you need high speed internet, a good system or the time to learn and develop your own system, and some money to invest.

You do not necessarily have to have much money. Brokers now offer mini Forex trading accounts and even micro Forex trading accounts that you can open with just a few hundred dollars. But it’s better to have more, even if you do not put everything on the account at the beginning. Forex trading is risky and if you only have a few hundred dollars, you probably should be doing something safer with it.

But assuming you have the resources and you’ve decided you want to make money with a type of financial trading let’s take a look at why this would be a better option for you relative to stock or commodity trading.

1. No commissions or fees.

If you have experience in the stock market you know how your profits can be eaten away by brokers, exchanges, and even government fees. The global nature of the Forex market means that you do not have to pay for any of these. Brokers earn their money through the spread, which is the difference between bid and offer prices for a currency. All you need to do is make sure that the price will come your way far enough to cover this.

2. No fixed lot size.

In the commodity futures markets, the size of a lot or contract is set through an exchange and you cannot buy or sell less than one lot. But in spot Forex trading, you can theoretically make your own lot size. Most brokers have their own standard size, but you can shop around and look for a broker that offers small or fractional lots.

3. A 24 hour market, five days a week.

For all the global Business Week, the Forex market never sleeps. This is great if you need to trade outside normal working hours. You can work at your 9 to 5 job and trade currencies in the evenings. Or you can start when you get up in the morning, even though it is 5 a.m.

4. High leverage.

Forex brokers offer up to 200 times your margin deposit for leverage, but 100 times is more common. That means you have the chance to earn much more money from only a minimal investment. You would only need $100 or $50 to control $10,000 in one trade. As long as you are good at managing risk, and remember also that a high leverage means high risk, this may open up the possibility of a high return on your investment.

5. A huge market with high liquidity.

The Forex market is so large that even the banks, big as they are, have only limited influence. Insider trading is not a problem. And high liquidity means a lot of money in the markets, so you never get stuck in one position unable to close a deal. Software can even close your position for you at a certain level of loss or gain.

6. Free tools and information from your broker.

Brokers are in strong competition with each other to attract traders so that they are offering more and more features. They offer a demo account where you can practice trading, and test your wits, or even develop your own system before using real money. They will also have charts that you can use to identify trends and give you access to the latest Forex news, free.

7. Low start up costs.

A good modern computer with high speed Internet connection is all that is needed to start trading currencies. If you want to use a robot for your trading you will find one for $100 to $200. Lots of information about trading currencies, including advice on systems is available for free online.

8. You are in control.

As a Forex trader you will have full control over the investment. You can access your account through your broker’s software platform and make transactions in real time yourself.

You also have control over the currency you are buying and selling. You’re not limited to trading with your own country’s currency. This means that if your national economy is in a very unpredictable situation, you can decide to trade two other currencies that are more stable.

So there are 8 good reasons to choose Forex over other forms of financial trading.

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 the best 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 Forex Currency Trading Simplified.

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