EditorEditor: Alison HeyerdahlUpdated: November 3, 2023
AuthorAuthor: Chris Cammack

Last Updated On November 3, 2023

Chris Cammack

The Forex Market Hours

Forex trading can be done almost 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. We say “almost” because you cannot place trades for a few minutes every day at rollover time (5 pm New York time).

The duration of rollover depends on the broker you use, but it’s usually between 2-5 minutes. Close to rollover time, the spreads on different currency pairs can be much wider than usual. This makes trading close to rollover time impractical and risky, especially if you use a tight stop loss.

How late does the Forex market open and close?

There are 4 main Forex trading sessions, the Sydney session, the Tokyo session, the London session, and the New York session. The Forex market opens every Sunday at 17:00 New York time and closes every Friday at the same time. We use New York time as our benchmark because the market open/close is always around 17:00 in New York. 17:00 New York time is the end of the US session; during the South African winter, it is also the start of the Sydney session. In the South African summer, there is a two-hour overlap between the Sydney market open and the New York close.

During the South African summer, when the New York session closes at 17:00 EST, it is midnight (00:00) in South Africa. When it is summer in the northern hemisphere, and the New York session closes at 17:00 EDT, it is 23:00 in South Africa. So, in South Africa, the Forex market opens and closes at either 23:00 (roughly between March and November) or 00:00 (roughly between October and March), depending on the time of the year.*

Forex Trading Times South Africa

As you can see in this table, the best time to trade Forex is generally between 10:00 and 17:00 SAST (South Africa Standard Time) in the summer and 9:00 and 16:00 SAST in the winter.

Top Rated Forex Brokers 2024

FP Markets
RegulatorsASIC, CMA, CySEC
Regulator - auRegulator - keRegulator - european_union
  • Leverage500:1
  • PlatformsMT4, MT5, cTrader
  • Min. Spread0.0
  • Broker TypeECN/DMA
  • Min. DepositAUD 100
Read Review
Visit Broker
RegulatorsCySEC, FSCA, MISA
Regulator - european_unionRegulator - zaRegulator - cm
  • Leverage1000:1
  • PlatformsMT4, MT5, OctaTrader
  • Min. Spread0.6
  • Broker TypeSTP
  • Min. DepositUSD 25
Read Review
Visit Broker
RegulatorsASIC, CBI, CySEC
Regulator - auRegulator - ieRegulator - european_union
  • Leverage400:1
  • PlatformsMT4, MT5, Avatrade Social
  • Min. Spread0.9
  • Broker TypeMarket Maker
  • Min. DepositZAR 1900
Read Review
Visit Broker

In the summer, 10:00 SAST is when the London session opens, and 15:00 is when the New York session closes. Between 10:00 and 16:00 is a good time to catch important economic news releases, which can greatly impact exchange rates. During these hours, the Tokyo session overlaps the London session, and a few hours later, the London session overlaps the New York session.

There is often big market participation and good volatility when the London session opens. Likewise, the open of the New York session brings immense trading volume to the market. During these hours, intraday traders have the best chance of getting enough market movement to hit their profit targets. False moves (e.g. fakeouts) are also less common than during the first few hours of the Tokyo and Sydney sessions. Liquidity is also very high, meaning that large positions can be easily absorbed by the market, with a smaller chance of experiencing slippage or significant market impact.

The table above is calculated from South Africa Standard Time. In the South African summer, the London trading session starts at 10:00 SAST while the New York session opens at 15:00. After the transition from EST to EDT in March, the London session opens at 9:00 South Africa Standard Time and the New York session at 14:00. It is important to know this because many traders start trading when the London session opens or when the London and U.S. sessions overlap.

Although we can say that the Forex market is generally open from Sunday at 17:00 EST/EDT to Friday at 17:00 EST/EDT, we can also say that it closes every day for a few minutes from Monday to Thursday at 17:00 EST/EDT for rollover. Soon after the rollover, the Sydney trading session starts, and the cycle is repeated. Of course, rollover also takes place when the market closes on Friday.

*To keep it simple, we only consider U.S. time transitions. In Europe, the transitions between summertime and wintertime only differ a few days from that of the U.S.


Although the Forex market can be traded 24/5, the best market liquidity, volatility, and trading conditions are generally experienced during the crossover between the London and early US sessions. During these sessions, some of the most important central banks, speculators, businesses, financial institutions, commodity markets, and stock markets are active, all of which can have a huge impact on the currency markets.

When the Forex market is most active, spreads are usually low and large orders can be executed effectively. Market movements are also generally more reliable and forceful than during less active market times.

To learn more about the best times to trade Forex, check out our episode on the subject:

Stay updated

This form has double opt in enabled. You will need to confirm your email address before being added to the list.