The foreign currency exchange market is a global financial phenomenon. Global forex trading sessions are split into three main geographic regions: the London session (European), the US session, and the Asian session.
Each of these centres has its own particularities and unique traits. Because of this reason, traders have the opportunity to adapt their strategies and trading approaches, depending on what trading session is open at the time they exchange currencies. Getting a better understanding of these trading sessions allows traders to anticipate which the volatility and stagnation periods will appear.
The main forex trading sessions
Traditionally, the largest forex trading markets of the world establish the trading sessions. This way, we and differentiate between the Asian session, the European session, and the US session. Because these sessions take place at different times of the day, they are dynamic and change a lot in those intervals. And so, traders can adapt their strategies, depending on the hours of the day.
- The Asian Session, with the hot spot in Tokyo, is open between 00:00 and 09:00 GMT.
- The European Session, with the trading capital in London is active between 08:00 and 17:00 GMT.
- The American Session, with headquarters in New York, thrives between 13:00 and 22:00 GMT.
For more information on each market and sub-markets, keep reading below.
The UK Forex trading market
This market is still one of the most dynamic in the world. And, according to analysts and professional traders, but also to the Office of National Statistics, in 2017, there were more than 270,000 Forex traders in the UK. Here are concentrated the most European Forex traders. Second in Europe, comes Germany, with over 150,000 traders.
The same data shows that at least 1 in 10 British people has traded online at least once in their lifetime. Millennials are leaders in the trading game in the UK, accounting for 60% of the total investors of this kind in the UK.
The US Forex trading market
The US Forex trading market is the second largest in the world. Over 15% of the world’s online traders are established here. Most transactions taking place in this geographic region overlap between the US and European GMT. The US forex market amounts daily over 18% share of volume, and the total amount traded is steadily growing. In 2010, the daily traded amount reached almost $900 billion.
The Tokyo Forex Trading Market
The Tokyo trading market is the financial capital of the Japan Forex market. This is the third-largest in the world, with almost 130 million traders concentrated here. Although powerful and influential, the market performed poorer than the US market in 2010. The total amount traded in 2010 in Japan reached over 310 billion. In the foreign exchange market, the Japanese Yen is the third most traded currency.
The socio-economic status of the country makes Forex trading a reliable way of making a living. As of 2007, one in six citizens were living in poverty. With easier Internet access, a growing number of young Japanese have started trading foreign currencies.
The Singapore Forex trading market
Singapore plays a more important role in the foreign currency exchange marker by the day. The South Asian country encourages players with currency exchange interests to implement trading systems here. This would remove the delays caused by trades taking place via London or Tokyo. Some of the best Forex CFD brokers already consider moving their headquarters in Singapore.
Because of its wealth and high potential in currency trading, we should expect to see more expansion news in the area.
Even the government is involved in facilitating the development of this market. Official bodies offer grants and tax incentives to make the country more appealing to currency trading. By volume, the FX market in Singapore is the largest one in Asia but still falls behind the UK market.
The Switzerland Forex trading market
Another important Forex trading market of the world is Switzerland. The Swiss Franc is a safe investment, which brings the small European country at the table with the big boys. In 2010, the Swiss trading marker accounted for over 5% of the total volume traded globally. The number of individuals trading currencies online in Switzerland reaches 8 million. With a strong banking sector, the country is one of the promising Forex trading markets in the world. Still, according to Reuters, five banks have been recently fined for impeding the competition in the foreign exchange market here. Be careful when you choose your broker if you’re from Switzerland.
The Hong Kong Forex trading market
The city-state is a strong global player. The market is comparable with Switzerland in terms of daily traded volume. According to the most recent data, the average daily turnover of the Hong Kong FX market rose by 20%. Hong Kong’s global market share was estimated in 2010 at 4.7%. Since then, the market has gained more maturity and the trend is expected to be preserved throughout the following years.
So, when it’s the best time to trade?
According to this report, the best time to trade European currency pairs is between 19:00 and 11:00 GMT. During this period, the liquidity is relatively low, since the US exchange market has little to say.
Many traders prefer to trade European currencies during the Asian session. Simply put, they prefer buying currencies at support and selling them at resistance. In their case, the best time for trading is between 19:00 and 07:00 GMT.
Foreign currency trading markets come with their own specifics and are sensitive to different changes. Skilled traders can anticipate these changes and adapt their strategies accordingly. This is more likely to increase their ROI. However, no matter what market you prefer to trade, pay attention to the broker you choose. They should be regulated by bodies with the necessary Authority, they should have positive reviews, and a strong customer support department.