Forex is officially open Monday through Friday and operates around the clock. Its activity begins on Sunday evening (8 pm) and continues until Friday (11 pm), except for days falling on public holidays. Unofficial trading takes place on the exchange on weekends, however, their volumes are extremely small, which greatly complicates the ability to purchase foreign currency. The main participants these days are banking organizations and various financial institutions, which, as a rule, conduct transactions only in extreme cases.
In the Forex currency market, unlike the stock exchange, there is no centralized venue for trading - players from all over the world. Due to the fact that their time zones are different, trading proceeds continuously (on weekdays).
On the currency exchange, it is customary to distinguish between four trading sessions:
At this time, Australian and New Zealand players are active in the market - stock exchanges and banks, which begin trading first on Sunday evening. This session is characterized by rather low volumes of foreign exchange flows and the absence of sharp fluctuations - it is considered the calmest of the four. Due to such characteristics, it is often combined with Asian.
Asia enters the market in the second place and begins trading 3 hours after the start of the exchange in Wellington. The opening of trading is carried out by the capital of Japan, which is the financial center of Asia.
They are attended by Hong Kong, Chinese, Singaporean and Indian players. In this time interval, which is characterized by moderate activity, the majority of open positions fall on currency pairs with the yen, while, for example, the euro - dollar pair can occupy about 15% of the total.
The most volatile are USD/JPY, AUD/JPY, GBP/JPY. The first two sessions account for slightly more than 20% of the daily Forex trading volume.
This session begins in the period of the fading of the previous activity, when Asian traders are preparing for the end of the working day. About 1/3 of the total trading volume falls on London - the financial capital of Europe.
Such results are caused by several factors - on the one hand, the location of the city, allowing it to play the role of a conductor between the West European and East Atlantic regions, and on the other - the working hours of London players, which covers three trading sessions at once.
Liquidity in the market (however, not too high) is also created by French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, African, Middle and Middle Eastern participants. At this time, the following currency pairs are most popular:
It is characterized by the highest liquidity. The reason is that the period of activity of this session coincides with the release of the most important news and statistics.
«idding is opened by New York - the world's leading financial center, whose players begin to conclude transactions at 13:00 UTC. At this time, the lunch break at the European participants ends.
The bulk of the trading volume comes from the United States and Canada; in addition, liquidity is created by Mexico, Brazil, as well as other Latin American and South American countries. The most actively traded pairs in this time interval are:
At the intersection of the working hours of the American and Pacific sessions, the most popular pairs are AUD/USD and NZD/USD.
The table below shows the average movement of quotations of currency pairs in different trading sessions.