Understanding Forex Trading Session Times: A Comprehensive Guide

If you're interested in forex trading, then it's essential to understand the different forex trading session times. Knowing when the different trading sessions start and end is crucial for optimal decision-making and generating profits. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore forex trading session times in-depth, including the best times to trade, factors that influence forex market hours, and essential trading tips.

What Are Forex Trading Session Times?

Forex trading session times refer to the periods during which markets in different regions are open for trading. There are four major forex trading sessions, and these are:

  1. Sydney trading session
  2. Tokyo trading session
  3. London trading session
  4. New York trading session

Each session has different trading hours, which should be considered when planning your trading strategies.

Sydney Trading Session

The Sydney trading session is the first session of the forex trading day and begins at 10 pm GMT on Sunday night. It lasts until 7 am GMT on Monday morning and is the quietest of all the sessions. While the Sydney session is open, the currency pairs that are most actively traded are AUD/JPY, AUD/USD, and NZD/USD.

Tokyo Trading Session

The Tokyo trading session starts two hours after the Sydney session at 12 am GMT and lasts for seven hours. It is also known as the Asian trading session and is the second quietest after the Sydney session. Currency pairs that are commonly traded during this session include USD/JPY, EUR/JPY, AUD/JPY, and NZD/JPY.

London Trading Session

The London trading session is the most active of all forex trading sessions. London is often referred to as the financial capital of the world, so it's no surprise that this session is the busiest. It begins at 8 am GMT and lasts for eight hours. The currency pairs that are most frequently traded during the London session are EUR/USD, GBP/USD, and USD/CHF.

New York Trading Session

The New York trading session lasts for eight hours and begins at 1 pm GMT. This session is the busiest after the London session and often sees increased volatility and liquidity. The currency pairs that are most actively traded during the New York session include EUR/USD, GBP/USD, USD/JPY, and AUD/USD.

Why Understanding Forex Trading Session Times Is Crucial

Liquidity refers to the ease with which a trader can buy or sell assets, including currency pairs. When trading in a liquid market, traders can easily open or close positions without affecting the price of the asset they're trading. Lack of liquidity, however, can lead to wider spreads, which may increase the cost of trading.

Forex market liquidity is highest during the overlap between trading sessions. For instance, when the London trading session and the New York session overlap, liquidity increases owing to the high trading volume in these sessions. Being aware of the trading session times, therefore, is of utmost importance for traders who wish to take advantage of high liquidity periods.

Volatility refers to the price movements in currency pairs. If a currency pair displays high volatility, it means that its exchange rate is changing rapidly. In contrast, a low volatility currency pair is characterized by an exchange rate that is relatively stagnant.

Different trading sessions have a varying degree of volatility. High volatility characterizes the London and New York sessions, while the Sydney and Tokyo trading sessions have low volatility.

Traders can take advantage of periods of high volatility by using high-risk strategies like scalping. They can also use low-risk strategies during low volatility periods, such as swing trading.

News releases can have a significant impact on the forex market, leading to sudden price movements and high volatility. Understanding trading session times can help traders plan for news releases that are of interest to their trading strategies. For instance, if a trader is looking to trade USD/JPY and a news release that can affect the US Dollar's value is scheduled for release, it would be helpful to do this during the New York trading session.

Trading volume refers to the total number of trades made in a given period. Trading volume has a direct impact on liquidity, with higher trading volume usually leading to increased liquidity.

High trading volume is common during the overlap between trading sessions. For instance, when the New York session overlaps with the London session, trading volumes increase due to the high number of traders active during these sessions.

Sign Up

The Best Times to Trade Forex

Now that we have a sound understanding of the four forex trading sessions, the next question is, what are the best times to trade?

Every trader's situation is different, and there is no universal answer to this question. However, it would be helpful to keep in mind the following:

Trading Opportunities During Sydney and Tokyo Sessions

The Sydney and Tokyo sessions generally have lower volatility and liquidity than the London and New York sessions. However, traders may still find profitable trades in AUD/JPY and NZD/USD pairs when trading during the Sydney trading session. During the Tokyo session, pairs such as USD/JPY and EUR/JPY can offer trading opportunities.

Trading Opportunities During the London Session

The London trading session offers higher volatility and liquidity than the Tokyo and Sydney sessions. Therefore, it is often considered the best time to trade forex. Most trading activity during the London session revolves around the Sterling and Euro currency pairs. EUR/USD, USD/JPY, EUR/GBP, and GBP/USD are all popular trading pairs during the London session.

Trading Opportunities During the New York Session

The New York trading session, like the London session, is popular among traders due to its high liquidity and volatility. In addition, traders who missed trading opportunities in the London session can take advantage of the overlap between the London and New York sessions. Popular trading pairs during this session include EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, and AUD/USD.

Factors Affecting Forex Trading Session Times

Forex trading session times are not fixed and are subject to change. Some of the factors that may influence trading session changes include:

Traders should keep a close eye on market events that may affect trading sessions and adjust their trading schedules as needed.

Sign Up

Trading Tips for Forex Trading Session Times

To make a profit in forex trading, traders need to have sound trading strategies. Here are some tips traders may find useful when trading during different forex trading sessions:

Trade During Overlaps

Most traders believe that the best time to trade is when two sessions overlap. During this time, the forex market sees an increase in liquidity and volatility, creating trading opportunities for traders.

Do Not Trade Outside Your Comfort Zone

Every trader has a comfort zone when it comes to forex trading. It's important to understand your strengths and weaknesses when trading, including knowing the best pairs and session times to trade. Never trade outside your comfort zone, or place trades without proper market analysis.

Regularly Monitor Market News

Keeping up to date with market news and events can be key to successful forex trading. Regularly monitor news releases and economic calendars to keep abreast of any market-moving events that will affect trading decisions.

Develop a Trading Plan

Before trading, develop a trading plan. Consider factors such as your trading goals, risk tolerance, and trading style. A trading plan will help you stay on track, remain focused, and avoid making impulsive trading decisions.


Forex trading session times are an essential aspect of forex trading. Understanding when a market opens or closes, along with its unique characteristics, can help traders make informed trading decisions and maximize their earnings. By following the tips and strategies outlined in this guide, traders can achieve success regardless of the trading session they choose to engage in.