One of the many advantages of the forex market is that it is open for trading 24 hours a day. Unlike the stock market, the currency market works according to the normal business hours of the three business centers spread across different time zones. 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. Currency trading is unique because of its hours of operation. The week begins at 6pm EST on Sunday and runs until 5pm on Friday. But 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 greater fluctuation in currency pairs.
The foreign exchange market opens with the Sydney session at 5:00 PM EST in Sydney, Australia, although some traders in New Zealand will make prices an hour earlier at their 4:00 PM open. Wellington then closes at midnight, while Sydney then closes at 1:00 AM. Throughout the following forex trading week, the Sydney open at 5:00 PM EST is basically the same time as the New York Session’s 5:00 PM EST close the next day. In other words, when the market in New York closes on Monday at 5:00 PM, the market in Sydney opens on Tuesday morning in its time zone. This allows many professional forex traders based in New York to pass their order books on to traders based in Sydney for watching at least until the Tokyo opening.
You may have noticed when reading the previous section that at several times of the day more than one market is open at the same time. These overlapping times usually provide the greatest degree of liquidity in certain currency pairs, as well as wider pip range movements. This tends to make these more liquid periods better times to trade, theoretically at least. Basically, since more liquidity and a higher volume of trades will often be more beneficial to the speculative forex trader, certain times when trading is heavier in particular currency pairs can give a trader the edge needed to be profitable.
Many forex traders agree that the best time to trade forex pairs is in the first 3 to 5 hours of all the sessions, particularly when your fundamental analysis points on the new economic calendar are released. Therefore, it is best for you to trade in between 3 AM and 11 AM. The reason is that the New York and London market overlap during these forex active hours, which creates loads of trading opportunities that are boosted with regular price movements. If you have a proper trading plan in place, together with a money management system, it is not hard to see profit potential up to hundreds and thousands of dollars in just a few minutes depending on your lot size.