The global forex market never sleeps, it trades around the clock 24 hours per day, 5 days a week, from Monday to Friday. This is because unlike stocks that trade during the business hours of the country or region they are listed in, forex is a truly global market that is always active in some parts of the world, regardless of the time of day or night. When one region of the world closes at the end of the business day, another one has already begun trading. The global forex market comprises three trading sessions that overlap over a 24 hour period. These are known as the Asian session, the European session and the North American session. Each of these sessions has its trading centers, where a great deal of activity takes place. For instance, in the Asian region, these centers are Wellington, New Zealand and Sydney, Australia (these are the first markets to open after the weekend) and, of course, Tokyo, Japan. The European region also has several trading centers such as Frankfurt, Germany (the first of the European markets to open for business each day), Paris, France and of course London, England. The North American session is dominated by New York, which is the last trading center to close at the end of the business day. By the time this takes place the Asian session is already starting to stir again for another day of trading. The forex market opens for business after the weekend in Sydney, Australia at 8am local time on Monday morning, which is actually 11pm GMT on Sunday night.
Forex is a truly global market that trades around the clock. It comprises three trading sessions that overlap throughout the day (Asian, European and North American), with one opening its doors for business as the other one is closing. For this reason it doesn’t matter whether a certain country or region closes after business hours as there is always another part of the world that is open for business and is busy trading currencies. This means that as a trader, you are always able to take a position, as long as there is a region in the world that is open for business. The forex market only actually closes on the weekend, where there are no countries whose markets are open and actively trading currencies. Owing to its location, New York is the last trading center to close at the end of the working week. North America opens for business each day at around noon GMT, and it closes on Friday afternoon in New York at 8pm GMT.
Although each of the forex market’s three trading sessions (Asian, European and North American) generate a great deal of trading activity and volume. The forex market is definitely the most active during the European trading session, which trades between 7am to 4pm GMT. This is because the European session finds itself in the very middle of the trading day, between the Asian and North American sessions. The reason that it tends to be the most active of the three, is that it overlaps with both the Asian and North American sessions. So, as the Asian region is beginning to close for the day, the European session is already open for business. Similarly, as the European session is coming to a close, the North American region has already been trading for several hours. As a result there are both Asian and North American traders that are active during the European session.
The Asian trading session begins on Monday morning at 8am, Australian local time. This session includes the major trading centers of Wellington, Sydney and Tokyo. Due to the time difference, this actually makes it Sunday night in Europe. For this reason, if you’re trading forex from London, England, the trading week actually begins for you on Sunday night at 11pm GMT.