Market Hours?

Hi, guys, just a quick question: In the school chapter on Market Hours it talks about trading sessions having an opening and closing time. What does this mean? For example, the New York trading session opens at 8 am EST and goes to 5 pm. But if I live in that time zone and want to trade outside those hours, I can still buy and sell currency so what does it mean that the trading session is closed? I noticed that the trading of the USD/CDN pair drops significantly after 5 pm, but trading is still going on.


Hi, pippy

The worldwide forex market is available to participants, large and small, 24 hours per day from Sunday afternoon until Friday afternoon. But, not all participants are active around the clock.

Many large participants in the forex market — corporations, hedge funds, commercial banks (below the interbank tier) — operate on “normal” business hours, 8am-5pm local time, or something similar. When they are open for business, their impact on forex volume in their local markets is massive. When they are closed for business, forex volume in their local markets declines sharply.

This rise and fall in local forex volume is referred to as the “opening” and “closing” of the forex market in that country or region.

It may be that the forex volume generated in the United States is ten times greater at 11am New York time than it is at 11pm. We tend to refer to this ebb and flow of forex volume as the forex market being either open or closed, although really it’s that huge number of large market participants who are either open or closed for business.

Regarding commercial banks, the largest banks, which constitute what we call the interbank network, have trading desks which are open in many countries, 24 hours per day. Because of them, you and I can trade anytime.

But, because their largest customers are not open around the clock, the forex volume transacted by these giant banks tends to follow the sun.

That is, Deutsche Bank, for example, will do much more business in Asia during Asian daytime than at other times of day. Then, when evening comes in Asia, and Asian trading volume declines sharply, morning in Europe brings a surge in European trading volume.

Later, as morning comes to New York, a second surge of European volume reinforces the “opening” of the U.S. market, and the strongest market of the 24-hour day develops for a period of several hours.

I hope that helps to answer your question.


p.s. - Forex factoid: on the subject of the interbank network, altogether worldwide there are about 100 big banks in this group, but fully 60% of daily worldwide forex volume is transacted by the largest six of these banks.

Thanks Clint, that answers my question. There is no real open or close, just much less volume outside those “open” hours.

What about the weekend? If I want to trade on Saturday, is the market closed then, for real? If so, does this mean that it is really my broker that is closed?


Yup. It’s closed for real. Except in New Zealand and Australia. If you were in either of those countries, then late Friday afternoon in New York would be early Saturday morning there. I’ll leave it to you to calculate the exact time conversion.

I believe it was Tymen who mentioned once that there is forex trading in Australia on Saturday morning.

If you’re not in New Zealand or Australia, then your broker is closed from late Friday afternoon until sometime Sunday afternoon. Different brokers keep different schedules.

Is the interbank network closed? To us it is, for sure. But, what if George Soros wanted to transact 10 billion dollars worth of business at 10pm on a Saturday night? Would Barclay’s or Deutsche Bank say, "Sorry, George, come back Sunday afternoon?"
I think not.


You will find site this really useful to sort out forex hours.

Thanks Clint and bridgespotter.

Just a curiosity since you mentioned Soros. If, hypothetically speaking, I had a million dollars in my account, could I still use 100:1 leverage and make a 100 million dollar trade? Do the big boys use leverage? Or is there not enough money in the brokerages to provide leverage at that scale? Is leverage only for the little guys?



Unfortunately, I can’t speak from experience. I have no idea how the really big players leverage their capital.

Wikipedia says that Soros leveraged the value of his hedge fund, in September 1992, to create a $10 billion short position in the GBP/DEM (British pound/Deutsche mark), and earned over $1 billion in profit on that trade. But, Wikipedia does not go into the mechanics of the trade. (Somewhere I read that Soros’ profit on the trade was $1.8 billion.)

Much has been written about Soros’ illegal currency manipulations, and his generally unethical use of raw financial power.
And I didn’t mention him out of admiration. His politics are reprehensible, in my opinion; he is a truly dangerous man;
and the world will be well rid of George Soros, when his time comes.

All that aside, available leverage is generally inversely proportional to account size: the larger the account, the larger the margin requirement per lot — i.e., the smaller the allowable leverage.

Leverage is being tightened in most countries including the U.S. as part of the knee-jerk reaction of regulators to the financial crisis of the past two years. We are probably heading toward mandated limits of 100:1 on majors and 25:1 on exotics, but the
dust hasn’t settled yet on this matter.

Before the current rush to regulatory tightening — say, a year ago — generally, you could get 400:1 leverage on a micro account, 200:1 on a mini account, and 100:1 on a standard account. (I say “generally” because, at large brokerages, margin is actually negotiable to some extent; most small traders don’t know that.)

What leverage you could use with a Soros-size account is way outside my knowledge base. The heavy-hitters in forex trading
don’t trade through the same retail brokers that we use, and they don’t play by the same rules that we play by.


The major banks and investment houses each go thru billions of dolars of cash every day.

gives a good read on the financial industry on Wall St


Thanks for this link. This is the first accurate real-time, up-to-date forex market time table I have seen on the internet.
Most of them are garbage. This one is the real deal.

Your link will probably be deleted, because the forum has a rule prohibiting the posting of links until your post-count reaches 50. But, even if that happens, your link will remain in the QUOTE above. And I’ll repeat it again, in a moment, just for good measure.

We now have 3 excellent, accurate sources of time-zone information. No trader who is awake and paying attention should ever again be confused about time zones, time conversions, or forex market hours.

Those 3 sources are:

[li]World Clocks - Time Zones of The World
[li]Forex Market Hours - Forex Market Time Converter


Thanks Clint for your detailed and informed responses.

I was demo trading last night the USD/CDN pair, way past the New York close, and was amazed at how much activity was still going on. I made some serious money before I went to bed at 3 am EST, and by the time I got up again at 9 am EST, I really made a bundle of virtual cash while sleeping. The US dollar shot up around between 6 to 7 am this morning by over 80 pips.

I am going out today to spend my virtual money. I’m ordering a new virtual kitchen with virtual granite counter tops.

You can also use google to find out the time of a particular location.
Type in the google search box something like the following:
time geneva

And google will show the time in Geneva at the top of the results.
Or try this
time paris

and the time for Paris will be returned

Maybe you want the time for Wellington, type Wellington into the search box as before and you get the time for that place.
If there is more than once place with the same name, no problem, all places with the same name will be in the time results.
hopefully you get the idea now.

You can also use google as a calculator, type in your mathematical problem and it will perform the calculation and bring you the answer.

Just look at a clock and add or subtract the corresponding number of hours the location you want to know the time for.

Or maybe you can get a clock, set it to the time of the location or timezone you are interested in knowing the time for and put it on your wall or desk or where ever.
I believe there are also time clock software for your computer where you can have several timezones /locations showing at the same time.
I usually have a clock set to gmt.


Great idea! After your new, virtual kitchen is installed, you can invite us all to your house for a big, virtual Thanksgiving dinner.

I’ll bring the virtual wine.

Regarding trading at odd hours of the day when various forex markets are “closed”, you might take a look at a list I made called
The 24-Hour Forex Trading Day, which shows what’s open and what’s closed at any given time of day in the 20 countries
which account for over 95% of worldwide forex volume.

Here’s a link: 301 Moved Permanently


Hi Guys, just a question about a funny observation. Today on Sunday, I noticed the GBP/JPY started trading again after the weekend at 1:19 pm EST. That time corresponds to 6:19 pm London Time on a Sunday when the markets are still closed, and 3:19 am Monday morning in Tokyo where the markets are also closed. And even if they were open, who’s up trading at that hour. Admittedly trading was light for the first hour, but by 4:19 am Tokyo time, trading was big.

So what’s going on? (Not a penny was traded from 5 pm EST on Friday but it seems to have started again in the middle of the night.) As far as I can tell, there is no place on earth where the trading day has begun when it is 1:19 pm EST on a Sunday.



Those session opening and closing times refer to the opening and closing times of the various STOCK exchanges around the world e.g. the NYSE opens at 08h00 ET and closes at 16h00 ET (08h00 ET - 09h30 ET is the pre-market session and 09h30 - 16h00 is the core trading session). Essentially NOTHING moves until the various STOCK exchanges open (and in my opinion when the NYSE is closed there is no point in even sitting at your desk). Never believe that you are trading forex pairs autonomously or in a ‘vacuum’. I believe that equities move forex and not the other way around. Take a look at the movement in EUR/JPY and compare them to the movements in the S&P 500 as an example. (As you no doubt may gather: I don’t trade forex so I’m biased)!!! LOL!!!

Regarding your most recent issue (post):

It COULD be that your broker was entering settlement amounts (from Friday) before the open on Sunday. Did it appear to you as though there was ACTUAL TRADING going on at that time or was is just a few ‘blips’ on your quotes that you saw? A chart perhaps?




By the way Clint: that is one very nice document that you posted (with the opening and closing times and I suspect it’s more comprehensive than simply the opening and closing times of the various exchanges).

HI Nica, it looked like normal trading beginning at 1:19 pm EST on a Sunday. To me, that makes no sense. It was sporadic at first and then starts a normal volatile pattern an hour later at 2:19 pm EST on a Sunday.

Who is NICA? LOL!!!

Anyway: I’ve looked on three different trading platforms at three different brokers and I don’t see the price movements to which you refer on any timeframe so I’m afraid I cannot help you on this.



Sorry Dale, your last post said edited by Nica, so I thought that was you.

Anyway, if you look at the GBP/JPY chart, it starts trading at 1:19 pm EST on Sunday. I am using Oanda but all the brokers should have the same data. I wish I could post a screen shot but I don’t have 50 posts yet.


I agree: ALL brokers SHOULD have the same data but that’s what I’m saying above. I’ve checked GBP/JPY at three different brokers on all timeframes and there was no movement at all on the pair until 17h00 ET.

Maybe you should ask Oanda about this?



Thanks, Dale.

When I revise and re-post it next March, I will add South Africa to the mix.



Hello Clint,

Thanks. That would be nice. I (we’re) USED to not being noticed e.g. MICROSOFT STILL thinks that we have DST!!! LOL!!! (The closest we’ve ever come to having DST was an April fools joke broadcast on some local radio stations some time back)!!! LOL!!!