Forex Trading Session Times: Understanding the Best Time of Day to Trade

If you're an experienced forex trader, you know that timing is everything. When it comes to determining the optimal moment to buy or sell currency, understanding forex trading session times is crucial. Whether you're trading the GBP/USD, EUR/USD, or another popular pair, the forex market is open 24 hours a day, five days a week. However, that doesn't mean every trading session is equally profitable. In this article, we'll explain everything you need to know about forex trading session times to help you make more informed trading decisions.

What Are Forex Trading Session Times?

Forex trading session times are the designated times when trading activity is highest in specific regions. The foreign exchange market is split into three primary trading sessions: the Asian session, the European/London session, and the US/New York session. These sessions overlap for a few hours, providing an excellent opportunity to trade high-volatility forex pairs. Here's a breakdown of each trading session.

Asian Trading Session

The Asian trading session is the first forex trading session of the day, extending from 10 pm to 7 am GMT. This trading session covers the open of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and accounts for roughly 23% of all forex trades. Unlike other trading sessions, the Asian session tends to be quieter and less volatile, with fewer market-moving economic data releases. However, this quiet period can present its share of opportunities for savvy forex traders. For example, the USD/JPY pair typically shows some early volatility during the Asian session, which can sometimes continue into the European session.

European/London Trading Session

The European/London trading session opens at 7 am GMT and converges with the Asian session for a few hours before becoming the primary trading session in the forex market. This trading session is the most volatile and busiest of all three sessions, accounting for 41% of all trading volume. The European session has several significant economic data releases throughout the day that can significantly impact currency volatility and trading opportunities. Some of the vital economic indicators for the European session include the German Ifo Business Climate, the UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and the European Central Bank (ECB) Monetary Policy Statement.

US/New York Trading Session

The final forex trading session of the day is the US/New York session, accounting for approximately 34% of total forex trading volume. This session opens at 12 pm GMT, which overlaps with the European session. During this session, currency pairs that include the US dollar (USD) tend to experience higher volatility than other pairs due to significant economic data releases, including interest rate decisions, GDP, jobless claims, and the consumer price index (CPI). While the US/New York session can present a high degree of trading opportunities, trading during this session can be exceptionally volatile and challenging for new traders.

Why Do Forex Trading Session Times Matter?

Knowing when the forex market is most active can help you better plan when to open and close your trades, potentially increasing your profitability. Many traders prefer to trade during the overlapping European and US trading sessions, as this is often when the highest trading volume occurs in the forex market. By trading during these sessions, you'll likely encounter higher liquidity, tighter spreads, and more trading opportunities compared to trading during the quieter Asian session.

However, that doesn't mean traders can't find opportunities in other trading sessions. During the Asian session, for example, some traders focus their attention on the NZD/JPY and AUD/JPY currency pairs, as they often experience an increase in volatility during this session. By focusing on a specific trading session, traders have a better chance of capitalizing on various trading opportunities that may arise.

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Tips for Trading During Specific Forex Trading Sessions

Now that you know the different forex trading sessions and their various characteristics, let's examine specific tips for trading during each session to help you trade more effectively.

Asian Trading Session

European/London Trading Session

US/New York Trading Session


Forex trading session times are a vital aspect of any forex trader's toolbox. Knowing when and where trading activity is highest can help you plan your trading strategies more effectively and improve your overall trading performance. By following the tips outlined in this article, you'll be better equipped to navigate the various forex trading sessions and find profitable trading opportunities, no matter what time of day you trade.