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They watch various economic calendars and trade voraciously on every release of data, viewing the hours-a-day, five-days-a-week foreign exchange market as a convenient way to trade all day long. Not only can this strategy deplete a trader's reserves quickly, but it can burn out even the most persistent trader.
Unlike Wall Street, which runs on regular business hours, the forex market runs on the normal business hours of four different parts of the world and their respective time zones, which means trading lasts all day and night. So what's the alternative to staying up all night long? If traders can gain an understanding of the market hours and set appropriate goals, they will have a much stronger chance of realizing profits within a workable schedule.
New York open 8 a. When companies merge, and acquisitions are finalized, the dollar can gain or lose value instantly. Tokyo, Japan open 7 p. Japanese yen. Sydney, Australia open 5 p. While it is the smallest of the mega-markets, it sees a lot of initial action when the markets reopen on Sunday afternoon because individual traders and financial institutions are trying to regroup after the long pause since Friday afternoon.
London, Great Britain open 3 a. The city also has a big impact on currency fluctuations because Britain's central bank, the Bank of England, which sets interest rates and controls the monetary policy of the GBP, has its headquarters in London. Forex trends often originate in London as well, which is a great thing for technical traders to keep in mind.
Technical trading involves analysis to identify opportunities using statistical trends, momentum, and price movement. Currency trading is unique because of its hours of operation. The week begins at 5 p. EST on Sunday and runs until 5 p. Not all hours of the day are equally good for trading. The best time to trade is when the market is most active.
When more than one of the four markets are open simultaneously, there will be a heightened trading atmosphere, which means there will be more significant fluctuation in currency pairs. When only one market is open, currency pairs tend to get locked in a tight pip spread of roughly 30 pips of movement.
Two markets opening at once can easily see movement north of 70 pips, particularly when big news is released. The best time to trade is during overlaps in trading times between open markets. Overlaps equal higher price ranges, resulting in greater opportunities.
Here is a closer look at the three overlaps that happen each day:. While understanding the markets and their overlaps can aid a trader in arranging his or her trading schedule, there is one influence that should not be forgotten: the release of the news.
A big news release has the power to enhance a normally slow trading period. When a major announcement is made regarding economic data —especially when it goes against the predicted forecast—currency can lose or gain value within a matter of seconds.
Even though dozens of economic releases happen each weekday in all time zones and affect all currencies, a trader does not need to be aware of all of them. It is important to prioritize news releases between those that need to be watched versus those that should be monitored. In general, the more economic growth a country produces, the more positive the economy is seen by international investors. Investment capital tends to flow to the countries that are believed to have good growth prospects and subsequently, good investment opportunities, which leads the country's exchange strengthening.
Also, a country that has higher interest rates through their government bonds tend to attract investment capital as foreign investors chase high yield opportunities. However, stable economic growth and attractive yields or interest rates are inexorably intertwined. Examples of significant news events include:.
A stock exchange generally lists and trades in shares of a given country, so even when other stock markets are open internationally, they are largely trading in local securities and not the same exact stocks. While there are foreign stocks listen in the U. Liquidity refers to how easy it is to quickly buy or sell securities for a fair price.
On the other hand, in an illiquid market the spread between the bid and ask may be very wide and not very deep. I general, liquid currency pairs are those that are active and have high trading volume. The most traded currencies in the world include the U. Not only can a price gap between the closing price of a previous period and the opening price of a new one occur in the time of a serious perturbation. On a stock exchange, price gaps caused by a break in trading are normal and take place before almost every opening of a trading session.
The difference between closing and opening prices amounted to 20 points, which is quite a big gap for an asset. Due to such work specifics, the traders who use short-term speculative strategies often face this kind of surprises which may be quite costly. The main thing that differentiates Forex from a stock exchange is decentralization. Unlike stock exchanges, Forex works 24 hours a day. Because its operation is secured by global banks, everywhere in the world and in all time zones.
The round-the-clock operation of the currency market is provided by 4 trading forex session times which follow one another:. I need to mention an important thing here. The opening and closing times correspond to the current winter time. Once the clocks switch to the summer time, the schedule of the sessions goes 1 hour forward. For your convenience, the picture below represents the working hours of the sessions in UTC format.
Trading sessions follow one another and may even overlap. Such a parameter as volatility depends on which session is open now. Volatility shows the number of price fluctuations per 1 time unit and differs from one session to another. The part of the world where most trading participants reside and the biggest stock exchanges are located boast the highest volatility.
Also, the volatility of a particular instrument depends on the regional interest in this instrument. It does, at the weekends. Saturday and Sunday are normal days-off in Europe. On these days, the market is closed and trading is impossible. The market closes at on Friday and opens at on Monday.
Price gaps similar to gaps which take place on a stock exchange are often registered at the opening of a trading session at Forex. We see that only the Asian session is open in the morning while Europe and America are closed. Another example is when the European session opens. The price starts fluctuating more actively and volatility grows twofold and more.
It happens often but not daily. I mean the period when the European session ends and the American session begins. When 1 hour or so is left till the end of the European session, trading sharply becomes less intense and a narrow sideways channel flat is formed. The channel finishes with the opening of the American trading session. The price breaks one of the limits of the channel and moves into the stage of high volatility. I suggest exploiting the breakout of this channel.
30 minutes - 4 hours. 5 - 60 minutes. It is imperative to select the correct time frame when choosing the range of the three periods. Clearly, a long-term trader who holds positions for months will.