Forex market is a totally different beast as compared to the stock market. Stock market is open only for a fixed times usually from morning to the evening. After that it closes and trading stops. But forex markets never close. They are open 24 hours a day, 5 days a week except on weekends.
This continuous 24 hour trading at the forex markets is something quite novel for many new traders. Forex is traded Over the Counter (OTC) meaning there is no Central Exchange. Forex market is a global market. When one center is opening, another center is closing. This is very important for a new forex trader to understand.
As there is no open and close of the forex market, many new traders get confused and dont know when the best time when major price action takes place is? So they sit in front of the computer all the time and in the end simply exhaust themselves losing their stamina. A clever way is to divide the 24 hour day into three 8 hour sessions.
Again divide each 8 hour session in 4 hours by using 4 hour charts. As you will read this article, I will explain how this division is logical and can help you understand the forex markets. Forex markets are basically controlled by three money centers and these three sessions will help you identify the risk appetite and the price action for each.
The three money centers are: Asia, London and New York. Each session is going to coincide with these three money centers. We will call each session as the Asian, the London and the New York Session.
Asian Session: Most of the turnover in this market session is handled by Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore. Main players are the commercial exporters and the respective central banks. Since most of these central banks are in competition with one other, the price action during this session is jumpy and unsustainable.
London Session: London is still the forex capital of the world with deep and highly liquid forex market. Paris, Geneva and Frankfurt also are players in this session. The moves that originate in this session are very important keeping in view the amount of money needed to move a market this deep. These moves give you a lot of information about the market sentiments and positions.
New York Session: New York is second biggest FX market after London. Both of these markets overlap in the morning when New York is opening and London is closing. This is the time for major action.
The following table gives important times of the day that any forex trader needs to know: 00:00 GMT-Sydney Opens. 11:00 GMT-London opens. 15:00 GMT- London becomes very active. 17:00 GMT- London is active and New York opens. 18:00 GMT- London and Europe closes. 19:00 GMT- New York and Chicago getting ready for a close!
This overlapping between London and New York is when major price action takes place and new trends are formed or old trends are reversed. London is the market trend setter in fashion as well as forex.