When to Trade Currencies

One of the coolest aspects of currency trading is that it takes place 24 hours a day, 5 and ½ days per week! Why is that? Quite simply because the world is round and only the invention of weekends interferes with currencies being a true 24/7 market...

When to Trade Currencies - Cashout

Trading sessions

Simply put, currency markets are spread out around the world and because individual markets are open for 9 hours a day, a 24 hour window is covered. These windows are called “trading sessions” and are named after the major trading centers where the session takes place.

There are four major trading sessions which cover this 24 hour period: the Tokyo Session, the Sydney Session, the London Session and the New York Session. It is important to note that each session also has additional trading centers in other time zones, thereby extending each session's length to a 9 hour window. For example, the Tokyo Session also includes Hong Kong and Singapore, which are both in different time zones than Tokyo.

Here is a cool map showing how the sessions work:

Trading Sessions - Cashout

Trading sessions are important because they impact which currencies are currently being traded. During the Sydney Session, for example, AUD and NZD pairs will have higher volatility.

Best times to trade

Not all times of day are created equal. During a particular trading session the major currency of that market will be traded more. So if you are trading during the Sydney session, it is likely that the EUR/USD pair will not be heavily traded, because the markets will be focused on AUD and NZD pairs. In other words, if you want to turn a profit trading, you should focus on currency pairs where the trading sessions are open.

Cashout makes this easy for you. Our Markets window (pictured) lists currencies according to their volatility, or the amount of fluctuation in the exchange rate. The volatility is also represented by the colored bar next to the currency pairs. When a market is open, the home currency will be traded more, translating into more frequent fluctuations of the exchange rate.

Trading Sessions - Cashout

Rather than make it complicated for you to figure out what to trade and when, when using Cashout, simply select a currency pair at the top of the list. The blue bar next to the pair shows you its volatility. This means that you can instantly jump on a pair where the most action is.

Weekend trading

Although central banks and most banks are closed on the weekends, some trading does take place when the major markets are closed. Weekend trading tends to be slow and prices tend not to fluctuate very much.

On Cashout, you can do some weekend trading, but keep in mind that you will have lots more fun during the week.

Here is a table to help you to better understand when all markets are closed according to your timezone:

Time Zone Markets Closed Markets Open
GMT (London) Friday 21:30 (9:30 pm) Sunday 22:05 (10:05 pm)
CET (Frankfurt) Friday 22:30 (10:30 pm) Sunday 23:05 (11:05 pm)
EST (New York) Friday 16:30 (4:30 pm) Sunday 17:05 (5:05 pm)
JTZ (Tokyo) Monday 06:30 (6:30 am) Sunday 07:05 (7:05 am)
AEST (Sydney) Saturday 07:30 (7:30 pm) Monday 08:05 (8:05 am)

Everywhere else can be calculated according to GMT or based upon one of the above time zones.