The forex market is open continuously from 11:00 PM Sunday until 11:00 PM Friday, London time, in different parts of the world.
There are four major market hubs for forex trading in the world: Sydney, Tokyo, London and New York. They are not all always open at the same time, but their opening times overlap. Normally, the highest trading activity occurs when London and New York are both open (between 8:00 AM — 12:00 noon EST).
- The forex market is open 24/7 in different parts of the world
- The highest trading activity takes place when London and New York are both open
- If you trade exotic or regional currency pairs, time your trades when the markets of those countries are open
- Look out for special events such as elections or national holidays as spreads tend to widen on such occasions
Why do forex market hours matter?
While you can trade forex at any time of any given day, market liquidity is not always the same. You will have no problems with liquidity when trading major pairs like the EUR/USD, but trading exotic or regional currency pairs is a different beast. For example, when trading NOK/SEK, you’ll find that the most liquid market hours are usually when the respective countries (Norway and Sweden in this case) both have their markets open. When either country is on holiday, expect liquidity to drop significantly and spreads – the difference between bid and ask prices – to be very wide.
Also, when volatility is expected to be higher, spreads can widen. For example, an election, or a meeting of the US Fed can cause great volatility on the market.
See a practical breakdown on how to use this information in our forex trading examples, see some of the top forex trading strategies or check our guide on how to start forex trading. You can also learn industry terms using our forex trading glossary.
Looking for the best forex brokers? We handpicked the best forex brokers and trading platforms for this year here.