As you may already know, one of the most attractive aspects of trading the global currency markets is the level of flexibility it offers us, with time of day and that it is a market that is pretty much open 24 hours a day for almost 6 days a week. With it opening around 5pm EST on a Sunday early evening and then trading continuously though the week until the following Friday late afternoon; you can see that almost anytime is a good time to trade and why so many people are attracted to it and want a piece of the action, as it never really stops!
Now while it may be open for the majority of the week, the market also has its peaks and troughs of liquidity and movement. The currency market is widely regarded as being made up of 3 main trading centers across the globe, those being Asia, Europe and the USA, with the Far East kicking the proceedings off and the States wrapping things up at the end. In general, the time zones occur in the following segments:
- Asia: 9pm – 2am
- EST Europe: 3am – 11am
- EST USA: 8am – 4pm EST
The Asian session is generally regarded as the quietest session of the 3, with Europe being the most volatile and USA quieter but a little higher than Asia. If you are a day trader, this means that you would probably focus most of your attention on the European sessions for the most movement and volatility. When I lived in London, I enjoyed access to all 3 sessions and had the luxury of being actively awake for the European session everyday. Now that I live in the USA I am on a very different time zone, but for me, my time to trade has not changed all that much because as a FX trader, when you know what to look for it really does not matter what part of the world you live in at all. Let me explain further.
One of the best things any aspiring trader can learn to do is to understand how to develop a rules-based strategy, put it to action and then simply walk away and allow it to do its thing. Getting in the way of the plan is when we run into trouble. This is why we encourage our students at OTA to approach the market using our patented core strategy in a “set and forget” manner. With this in mind, I get plenty of questions from students asking how my FX trading is impacted when I travel to teach and, more importantly, now that I have moved to a completely different continent. The answer is simple: it does not change at all! When I was living in the UK I would do my analysis during the “dead zone” hours, these being the 2 hours between the US close and the open of the next Asian session, roughly 4pm to 6pm Eastern time, which was 9pm to 11pm UK time. Living in the States my time zone may be different but I am actually doing the analysis and setting up the trades at exactly the same point of the day.
What a fantastic aspect of the FX markets, especially when you begin to realize over time that when you set and forget your trades, you don’t even need to be there to see it happen, irrespective of whether the trade wins or loses. In fact, I have always said that it is better to not be there to watch the position, as this will ensure that you stick to the plan and allow the opportunity to develop as it should. Below is an example of a setup we looked at this week in the class on GBPNZD:
The highlighted Demand zone showed us a major imbalance between the willing buyers and sellers, indicating that the buyers did not get all of their orders filled, meaning we were looking to buy a pullback to the area if it returned to the zone. Not knowing how long this would take, we had to set the entry, stop and target and then leave the rest to do its thing. The trade triggered overnight with a nice reaction:
At the time of taking the above screenshot, the pair has already risen around 250 pips, and that all happened during the Euro session while we were asleep in California. We then had the option to trail the stop and lock in some profit, allowing the GBPNZD the chance to hit its final target a few hundred pips higher. So, did we need to be there to see this happen or did the plan take care of this automatically? I think the result clearly speaks for itself. Be mindful that if you decide to embark on the FX markets journey, the more you allow things to fit into your life rather than the other way around, the better it is likely to be for you in the long run. FX offers flexibility and opportunity to choose your time to trade, around the clock, no mater how hands-on or hands-off you want to be. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Take care and be well,
Writen by Sam Evans, Online Trading Academy Instructor. After leaving University in 1999, Sam thrust himself into the media world, working as an executive producer and part-time presenter for London’s Capital FM. Roles in the record and film industry followed, where Sam conducted many promotional interviews and honed his presentation skills for nearly 7 years. With a strong desire to work for himself, Sam left the media industry behind and spent an intense 18 months studying to become a professional Life Coach, embarked on various property investments and gave in to his childhood fascination with the money markets by training to become a trader with Online Trading Academy. Since his graduation, he has been a full-time trader, specializing in Stock Index Futures and Forex. Under the guidance and mentorship of some of Online Trading Academy’s best instructors, Sam himself joined the teaching roster and forged his own unique style of trading. A devoted student of the Market, Sam’s focus is on strict risk management discipline, combined with a realistic approach to understanding the true nature of Price Action. Fueled by a passion for the markets, Sam now teaches and presents for Online Trading Academy, welcoming and helping others into the rewarding world of trading.