Trading Market Hours and Schedules

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Binary Options Trading Market Hours & Schedules

Versatility may not be the first quality that comes to mind, when Binary Options is brought up for discussion. After all, there are just two ways a trade can go: and it is not like there are many tools or ways of trading that can be used to create diverse trading systems, as is the case in Forex Trading.

However, in Binary Options, you can trade any of a large repertoire of assets. Anything from stocks, to currencies, to commodities: and the list keeps growing with numerous additions by enterprising brokers. Although, the variety of assets offered differs across brokers, there are usually a decent number of assets to trade with a top-grade Binary Options Broker.

Understanding the different Binary Options Trading Market Hours & Schedules

With a vast array of assets to trade, would not it be perfect to be able to place a trade at all times? In a way, you can in Binary Options Trading: but technically, you would not be able to trade all assets at all times.

Here is the deal, stock exchanges trade as specific times of the day, so stockbrokers and other people who work in the industry can go home to their family and live normal lives. And then, there’s the Forex currency market that is closed during the weekends and half the day on Friday, for basically the same reason why the stock exchanges shut their doors after certain hours had gone by.

These are the two major markets, but that’s not all. Even, Forex still maintains core trading hours in four major trading centers, where much of the money on Forex is traded, resulting in high volatility and profitability (if high trading activity is your thing).

Why Binary Options Trading Market Hours & Schedules matter?

Aside the obvious, “Hello, you can only take a Binary Option position on a NYSE stock pick only during NYSE trading hours, and likewise for other assets that are available at only specific trading hours,” the different market hours and schedules influence the kind of Binary Options trading strategy you use.

While one strategy may require you to take up high volatility assets and trade during busy trading hours, another may require you to do the exact opposite.

You would also be able to manage different assets across the board, if you wish, and maintain profitability. Diversification reasons and/or increasing one’s portfolio are two top reasons why a trader might go this route. Either way, Binary Options offers the versatility to do so.

Also, you may not be available all day to make trades, and seeing that regions have different time zones, it would make sense to note the market hours and schedules of options assets you are interested in trading.

What are the Binary Options Trading Market Hours & Schedules

The two major Binary Options asset categories by market are the Stock Markets and Foreign Exchange Currency Market. We will discuss the trading market hours for both categories separately:

Stock Markets

Assets in US stock markets are amongst the most traded in this asset category. In general, stock markets in the US are open between the hours of 09:30 (9: 30 AM) and 16:00 (4:00 PM) Eastern Standard Time (EST).

However, if your trading strategy is dependent on the volatility of the market, it may interest you to know that activity usually fall to low levels between the hours of 12:00 (12:00 PM) and 13:00 (1:00 PM) EST—which corresponds to lunch time for traders. For the highest trading activity, endeavor to take up positions during the early trading hours before lunch (in the morning).

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Aside, US stock indices, Binary Options traders, in their numbers, also trade assets in Europe. Popular stock market choices are the FTSE AND Xetra Dax. Market hours for these markets hover around 07:00 (7:00 AM) or 08:00 (8:00 AM) to 15:30 (3:30 PM) or 16:30 (4:30 PM) on weekdays.

Foreign Exchange Currency Market

Although there are several currency and commodities market, Forex is the most active, and it makes a name for itself by being available for 4 days (24-hour days) and half straight without breaks in between.

While the Forex market is generally not limited physical trading exchanges, there are four major financial centers where a lot of market activity happens. These centers only have their door open for a set number of hours per day, much like stock market exchanges. They include, London, New York, Sydney, and Tokyo.

The trading times of some of these centers overlap at certain periods. An example is the London/Tokyo overlap. The London and New York trading times also overlap, and is pretty much a big deal, with lots of swings occurring during the overlap.

In all, times may be shorter for a specific broker, so you should consult your Binary Options broker to confirm trading times for chosen assets.

Forex Market Hours

Forex trading hours: London, New York, Tokyo, Sydney sessions.
Best trading time in the Forex Market

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Forex market hours. When to trade and when not to

Forex market is open 24 hours a day. It provides a great opportunity for traders to trade at any time of the day or night. However, when it seems to be not so important at the beginning, the right time to trade is one of the most crucial points in becoming a successful Forex trader.
So, when should one consider trading and why?

The best time to trade is when the market is the most active and therefore has the biggest volume of trades. Actively traded markets will create a good chance to catch a good trading opportunity and make profits. While calm slow markets would literally waste your time & efforts — turn off your computer and don’t even bother!

Live Forex Market Hours Monitor:

Forex trading hours, Forex trading time:

New York opens at 8:00 am to 5:00 pm EST (EDT)

Tokyo opens at 7:00 pm to 4:00 am EST (EDT)

Sydney opens at 5:00 pm to 2:00 am EST (EDT)

London opens at 3:00 am to 12:00 noon EST (EDT)

And so, there are hours when two sessions overlap:

New York and London: between 8:00 am — 12:00 noon EST (EDT)
Sydney and Tokyo: between 7:00 pm — 2:00 am EST (EDT)
London and Tokyo: between 3:00 am — 4:00am EST (EDT)

For example, trading EUR/USD, GBP/USD currency pairs would give good results between 8:00 am and 12:00 noon EST when two markets for those currencies are active.

At those overlapping trading hours you’ll find the highest volume of trades and therefore more chances to win in the foreign currency exchange market.

What about your Forex broker?

Your broker will offer a trading platform wih a certain time frame (the time frame will depend on the country where broker operates).
When focusing on market hours, you should ignore the time frame on your platform (in most cases it’ll be irrelevant), and instead use the universal clock (EST/EDT) or the Market Hours Monitor to identify trading sessions.
If you haven’t chosen a Forex broker yet, we recommend Forex brokers comparison to aid your search.

The Best Times to Trade the Forex Markets

Many first-time forex traders hit the market running. They watch various economic calendars and trade voraciously on every release of data, viewing the 24-hours-a-day, five-days-a-week foreign exchange market as a convenient way to trade all day long. Not only can this strategy deplete a trader’s reserves quickly, but it can burn out even the most persistent trader. Unlike Wall Street, which runs on regular business hours, the forex market runs on the normal business hours of four different parts of the world and their respective time zones, which means trading lasts all day and night.

So what’s the alternative to staying up all night long? If traders can gain an understanding of the market hours and set appropriate goals, they will have a much stronger chance of realizing profits within a workable schedule.

The Forex Markets Hours of Operation

First, here is a brief overview of the four markets (hours in Eastern Standard Time, or EST):

  • New York (open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.): New York is the second-largest forex platform in the world, watched heavily by foreign investors because the U.S. dollar is involved in 90% of all trades, according to “Day Trading the Currency Markets” (2006) by Kathy Lien.   Movements in the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) can have an immediate and powerful effect on the dollar. When companies merge, and acquisitions are finalized, the dollar can gain or lose value instantly.
  • Tokyo (open 7 p.m. to 4 a.m.): Tokyo, the first Asian trading center to open, takes in the largest bulk of Asian trading, just ahead of Hong Kong and Singapore. The currency pairs that typically have a fair amount of action are USD/JPY, GBP/CHF, and GBP/JPY. The USD/JPY is an especially good pair to watch when the Tokyo market is the only one open, because of the heavy influence the Bank of Japan has over the market. 
  • Sydney (open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.): Sydney is where the trading day officially begins. While it is the smallest of the mega-markets, it sees a lot of initial action when the markets reopen on Sunday afternoon because individual traders and financial institutions are trying to regroup after the long pause since Friday afternoon.
  • London (open 3 a.m. to noon): The U.K. dominates the currency markets worldwide, and London is its main component. London, a central trading capital of the world, accounts for roughly 43% of global trading, according to a report by BIS.   The city also has a big impact on currency fluctuations because the Bank of England, which sets interest rates and controls the monetary policy of the GBP, has its headquarters in London.   Forex trends often originate in London as well, which is a great thing for technical traders to keep in mind.

The Best Hours for Forex Trading

Currency trading is unique because of its hours of operation. The week begins at 5 p.m. EST on Sunday and runs until 5 p.m. on Friday.

Not all hours of the day are equally good for trading. The best time to trade is when the market is most active. When more than one of the four markets are open simultaneously, there will be a heightened trading atmosphere, which means there will be more significant fluctuation in currency pairs.

When only one market is open, currency pairs tend to get locked in a tight pip spread of roughly 30 pips of movement. Two markets opening at once can easily see movement north of 70 pips, particularly when big news is released.

Overlaps in Forex Trading Times

The best time to trade is during overlaps in trading times between open markets. Overlaps equal higher price ranges, resulting in greater opportunities. Here is a closer look at the three overlaps that happen each day:

  • U.S./London (8 a.m. to noon): The heaviest overlap within the markets occurs in the U.S./London markets. More than 70% of all trades happen when these markets overlap because the U.S. dollar and the euro are the two most popular currencies to trade, according to Lien. This is the most optimal time to trade since volatility is high. 
  • Sydney/Tokyo (2 a.m. to 4 a.m.): This time period is not as volatile as the U.S./London overlap, but it still offers a chance to trade in a period of higher pip fluctuation. EUR/JPY is the ideal currency pair to aim for, as these are the two main currencies influenced.
  • London/Tokyo (3 a.m. to 4 a.m.): This overlap sees the least amount of action of the three because of the time (most U.S.-based traders won’t be awake at this time), and the one-hour overlap gives little opportunity to watch large pip changes occur.

Impact of News Releases on Forex Markets

While understanding the markets and their overlaps can aid a trader in arranging his or her trading schedule, there is one influence that should not be forgotten: the release of the news.

A big news release has the power to enhance a normally slow trading period. When a major announcement is made regarding economic data—especially when it goes against the predicted forecast—currency can lose or gain value within a matter of seconds.

Even though dozens of economic releases happen each weekday in all time zones and affect all currencies, a trader does not need to be aware of all of them. It is important to prioritize news releases between those that need to be watched versus those that should be monitored.

Examples of significance news include:

  • Interest rate decisions
  • CPI data
  • Trade deficits
  • Consumer consumption
  • Central bank meetings
  • Consumer confidence
  • GDP data
  • Unemployment rates
  • Retail trade

The Bottom Line

It is important to take advantage of market overlaps and keep a close eye on news releases when setting up a trading schedule. Traders looking to enhance profits should aim to trade during more volatile periods while monitoring the release of new economic data. This balance allows part-time and full-time traders to set a schedule that gives them peace of mind, knowing that opportunities are not slipping away when they take their eyes off the markets or need to get a few hours of sleep.

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