When you are beginning to trade Forex pairs - regardless of whether it is in the spot market or using Binary Options - there is a lot of basic Information which is required. A lot of traders skip over this basic information and instead pick out strategies immediately. The Forex market is open 24-hours every day (without the weekend) because banks/businesses are open at different times around the world and so providing liquidity to Forex pairs. Yet each hour of the day has different tendencies which are based on what part of the globe is open for business. When you nderstand Forex market hours and hourly tendencies you will be better able to apply your strategies at opportune times. Forex Market Sessions Major markets are open at different times throughout the day. Which market(s) is open directly is affecting the liquidity and volatility and Forex pairs. E.g. the EURUSD is most liquid and volatile during the London and New York sessions and especially during the “overlap” period when London and New York are both trading. The USDJPY typically has the most volatility if Tokyo first opens and when New York opens some hours later. Currencies generally see increased liquidity when one or more markets which actively trade or use that currency are open for business. Here is an overview over the Forex sessions which are based on different time zones:
EST (New York)
These images do not show every market in the world but these are the major ones. The Canadian market is open while New York is open and London overlaps with other European markets. Germany opens one hour before London; so some think that to be the open and not the start of the London session. Volatility on average does not see a marked increased until London opens though.
Those major sessions directly impact currency pair volatility. The images below Show you hourly volatility. If your strategy is based on volatility or you are using a trending strategy focus on day times where the price moves are largest. The “spikes on the chart” are excellent times because the price needs to be making higher highs or lower lows in order for volatility to increase during that time.
If you are using a range trading strategy or prefer low volatility you should trade during the sedate times where the charts show decreased hourly volatility. All images below are current as of January 9, 2014. These charts are providing a good overall context for relative intra-day volatility.
8 to 17 GMT provide the best trending opportunities. At 13 to 17 are the biggest moves. Those seeking reduced volatility or times which are more likely to quietly range you should trade between 20 and 5 GMT. The USDCHF is very similar to the EURUSD in terms of its hourly volatility structure.
The NZDUSD has very similar hourly volatility like the AUDUSD and they both move roughly the same amount each day.
Learning the Basics like as what the market sessions and hours mean to you as a trader can significantly help you in determining what strategies to use and when. No matter what timeframe you are trading on you should have a checklist that helps you to determine what type of market environment you are trading in. This will also help you to filter trades.