Business Week

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

Why Start Trading Currencies?

Trading currencies has been attracting more and more retail investors in recent times. Foreign exchange or forex is an OTC (over the counter) market where anybody can get involved. All you need is an internet connection, a good system or the time to learn and develop your own system, and some money to invest.

You do not necessarily need very much money. Brokers now offer mini forex trading accounts and even micro forex trading accounts which you can open with just a couple hundred dollars. However, it is better to have a little more, even if you do not put it all into the account in the beginning. Forex trading is risky and if you only have a couple hundred dollars to spare, you probably should be doing something safer with it.

But assuming that you have the funds and you have decided that you want to make money with some kind of financial trading, let’s look at why this could be a better option for you than stock or commodity trading methods.

1. No commissions and no fees.

If you have experience of the stock market you know how your profits can be eaten away by brokerage, exchange and even government fees. The free world nature of the forex market means that you do not have to pay any of these. There are no middle men. Brokers make their money through the spread, which is the difference between the bid and ask prices of a currency.

2. No fixed lot size.

In commodity futures markets, the size of a lot or contract is set by the exchange and you cannot buy or sell less than one lot. But in spot forex trading you can theoretically set your own lot size. Brokers tend to use their own standard sizes but if you know that you will want to trade small amounts you can look for a broker who offers small or fractional lots.

3. It’s a 24 hour market, five days a week.

From the beginning to the end of the global business week, the forex market never sleeps. This is great for people who need to trade outside of normal business hours. You can go work for the boss from 9 to 5, come home and start trading currencies in the evenings. Or you can start whatever time you wake in the morning, even if it is 5 a.m.

4. High leverage.

Forex brokers will offer up to 200 times your margin deposit in leverage. This means that you have the chance to make a lot of money from only a small deposited fund. You only need $50 to control $10,000 dollars in a trade. Provided you have good risk management and always remember that high leverage also means high risk, this can be a very attractive option.

5. A huge market with high liquidity.

The forex market is huge, so there is no chance of any single institution getting control of it. Even the banks, big as they are, have limited influence. Insider trading is not the issue that it can be in stock trading. And high liquidity means that you can always make the trade at the moment or the price that you want. You are never stuck unable to close a trade, and you can even set an automated trading system to close your position for you at a certain level of loss or profit.

6. Free tools and information.

Brokers are going all out to attract more retail traders and the competition between them is great for you as an investor. It is easy to find a good broker who will offer you a demo account where you can practice your trading, hone your skills and learn the basics before you start using real money. They will also give you the charts that you need to identify trends, and access to breaking forex news, all for free.

7. Low start up costs.

A computer with a high-speed Internet connection is all that is needed to begin trading currencies. If you want to use a robot for your trading you can find one for $100 to $200. A lot of information on trading currencies including advice on systems is available for free online.

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Thursday, June 18th, 2009 Introduction No Comments