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Major Trading Sessions and Financial Centers

Since the exchange of currencies is made by real people like you and me who trade for various financial institutions and for its own account, it is useful to know when and where market participants operate. The currency market has the following major sessions (London time):

  • Asian - main financial centers in this area are Sydney (working hours 11:00 PM to 7:00 AM) and Tokyo (12:00 AM to 08:00 AM hours);
  • European - main financial centers in this area are Frankfurt and Zurich (07:00 AM to 03:00 PM) and London (08:00 AM to 04:00 PM);
  • American - main financial center in this area is New York (01:00 PM to 09:00 PM).

Working hours of the major financial centers

Why do we need this information? As I said, the prices in the forex market are moved by real people who go to work in large financial institutions. Most banks have branches around the world, but most of the time this fact is not so essential. During relatively normal market conditions, liquidity and order flow is determined by the standard working hours of the major forex market centers and if you keep this in mind, you will never be wrong.

In the table below, you can see the information about the proportion of the daily turnover by country (data BIS):

Besides the times of opening and closing of the major financial centers, very important are the so-called fixings that are used primarily by banks for expirations of options and forwards. The most important of these are the following:

  • Tokyo fix – 0:55 GMT. It changes depending on daylight saving time is 0:55 AM or 1:55 AM London time;
  • Tokyo cut – It is at 7:00 AM London time and is used for expiration of options and forwards;
  • ECB fix – It is always at 1:15 PM London time. The main flows of orders are in euro;
  • New York cut – It is at 10:00 AM New York time, which is 3:00 PM London time (when changing daylight saving time for a few weeks it is at 2:00 PM). Most off the forex options expire at the New York cut;
  • London fix – It is at 4:00 PM London time and because it is connected with the largest financial center is actively used by market participants.