Archive for December, 2010

Best Forex Trading Times

So what are the best forex trading times? The forex market is open 24 hours a day during the business week, but this does not necessarily mean that all of those 24 hours are good for trading. There is a lot more activity on the foreign exchange markets at certain times of day and generally speaking, the best times to trade are when the markets are busiest.

The two biggest trading floors for forex are London and the US markets. Although the UK does not use the euro, most euro countries are within one hour time difference from the UK, as is Switzerland. US time zones also include Canadian. So the London session and the US session between them cover most of the major currencies that are traded.

The London session starts at 8.00 UTC and finishes at 16.00 UTC. The currencies that are most active during this session are the euro (EUR), British pound (GBP) and US dollar (USD) which is involved in the majority of all trades.

The US session starts at 13.00 UTC (8.00 EST) and finishes at 22.00 UTC (17.00 EST). The most traded currencies during these times are USD, EUR, GBP, AUD (Australian dollar), JPY (Japanese yen) and CAD (Canadian dollar).

The peak trading time, as you might expect, is during the three hours when these two sessions overlap and the markets are open in both London and New York. This period runs from 13.00 to 16.00 UTC (8.00 to 11.00 EST).

If you like to let your orders run over several days it may not make so much difference to you to know the busiest times on the markets. But if you are involved in day trading forex where you might open and close a trade within a few minutes, you will find most opportunities coming up during the most active hours.

If you are involved in a cross rate, i.e. a currency pair that does not involve the US dollar, you may have another window of time when the financial centers in your two countries are open for business.

For example if you were trading AUD/JPY you might find that trading was good during what is called the Asian session. The Australian and Japanese business hours are pretty close and on a day when activity was expected you might find some profitable trades during the overlap. However, generally speaking this is a slower session for just about all currencies.

So the best time for most forex traders is during that three hour window in the morning in the US and the afternoon in the UK and Europe, when the markets are open on both sides of the Atlantic. Trading can be frantic during those hours, there is maximum liquidity and the currencies move far and fast. A lot of the important financial news is released during this period too, especially toward the beginning. So these hours are the best forex trading times if you want to grab quick profits.

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Monday, December 27th, 2010 Introduction, Strategy No Comments

Forex Scalping Expert Advisor Programs: Do They Work?

Some of the forex scalping expert advisor programs that were popular until recently have been getting a bad press in the last few months. It seems that they are selling when they should buy and buying when they should sell. So what is happening, and can you still trade successfully with a scalping expert advisor?

Scalping is a tactic that relies on making small, quick trades to exit with a profit not many times the size of the spread. In fact generally anything more than 3 times the spread is not considered scalping at all. Scalpers are aiming to move in and out of the market in just a few minutes, or sometimes even less than one minute. They plan to do this many times in a day to achieve many small profitable trades adding up to good profits over the course of time.

The first problem for all forex scalpers is finding a broker who will allow you to do this. Brokers, even if they are not deliberately taking a position against you, often have some time delay before they cover your position in the open market. This may only be a few seconds to one minute which is not significant with long term trading but can put them into a loss position with successful scalpers who may close their trade before the broker has covered it.

But assuming that you are hooked up with a broker who will accept your EA working in this manner, why does it happen that sometimes the EA itself starts to foul up the trading?

One reason is that some EAs have been based around indicators that lag, such as moving averages. It should be obvious to anybody that if you are trading on small price movements you need to react very fast to new trends and a lagging indicator is not the best to use.

However, while the market was relatively stable with slow moving trends, it was possible to profit from scalping tactics even with lagging indicators. This pattern may continue for several years, long enough for many people to believe this is a genuinely possible system and certainly long enough for scalping expert advisor software to be developed to implement these strategies.

But sooner or later the market will enter a more volatile period. This may only happen every 7-10 years but when it does, lagging indicators become useless for scalping techniques. It is better to use indicators such as Bollinger bands which do not rely on measuring movements over such a long period in the past.

So if you want to continue scalping during times when the market is particularly volatile, you should ask questions about the basis of the software that you are thinking of buying and look for a scalping expert advisor that does not rely on lagging indicators.

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Tuesday, December 7th, 2010 fx trading software, Strategy No Comments

Trade Forex For Profit: One Thing You Must Have

If you want to trade forex for profit, there is one thing that you must have and that is a trading plan. The forex market is a fast moving financial environment where a lot of money can be made in a short time, and lost too. This makes it stressful and confusing in the beginning.

If you do not have a plan for your trading strategies you will be making decisions based on the emotions of the moment which could be fear, greed, panic or euphoria. Decisions made from emotion will almost certainly not be good decisions.

First establish your goals and your boundaries. Do you have a clear idea of how much you might expect to make if your trading is successful? It will probably not be millions. Plan for a slowly increasing level of profits and start small. If you have big expectations you will be tempted to take big risks to try to meet your profit targets, and you could end up with nothing but losses.

Boundaries means risk. How much money are you prepared to risk when you trade forex? This should be money that you do not need for any other purpose. Are you confident enough that you have a good chance of making money with it, rather than losing it? Have you already been trading successfully with a demo account?

You also need to be clear about your position size for each trade. This means taking account of the consequences when a trade goes against you. This will certainly happen sometimes.

Your position size will also relate to your system. Some systems aim to provide a very high percentage of winning trades but losses are large when they happen; others have more losing trades but each loss is smaller. What are the chances of your system giving you two, three, or five or more losses in a row? You need to adjust your position size to provide for the worst that can be expected, because sooner or later it will happen.

A forex trader needs to remain as calm as a poker player and accept losses as well as gains. It is all part of the experience. Remind yourself that your trading system is based on sound analysis and if you keep to your trading plan you should profit. At all times you should know how much you have at risk, what is your potential gain and your potential loss, and where you plan to close the trade in both cases.

Your trading plan should also include how you will implement your forex trading system. What sources of information will you use? Which of the indicators are most valuable for your forex trading style? Where will you go for advice when you need it?

Foreign exchange trading requires a clear strategy that you can set out in a written plan. Remember, if you fail to plan you are planning to fail. You can modify your plan if it needs it, but do not change it while you have open trades. Never enter the market to trade forex without a clear trading plan that you know you can stick to!

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Thursday, December 2nd, 2010 Introduction, Strategy No Comments