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What Are the Best Market Hours?

So, you decided you want to trade the markets, currencies and stocks. Knowing what time of the day to trade is crucial, especially when you’re making trades early in your investing career.

The markets trading hours is one of the frequently asked questions. Even I read somewhere that if you want to become a successful trader, you have to move to the time zone which is more convenient to trade during the most important trading hours. This is really interesting. You want to become a trader to be your own boss and work and make money from the comfort of your home. Now, all of a sudden some people suggest you to migrate to another time zone.

Let’s learn what the markets’ hours are and then decide to choose the best one.

This is true that the currency market is open 24 hours per day and 5 days per week (it opens on Sunday afternoon at 5 pm Eastern time and closes on Friday afternoon at 5 pm Eastern time). But there is more price movements during some special hours of the day. There are three primary trading sessions on the currency trading market:

  1. US or New York session
  2. European or EU or London session
  3. Asian session

Just the same, you can trade during hours when sessions overlap. They take place during the following hours as expressed in EDT (New York) time:

  • New York – 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Asian – 7:00 pm to 4:00 am
  • London – 3:00 am to 12:00 pm (noon)

Generally speaking, if you trade during the European, US, or both sessions, it’s because you are looking to capture big moves or a lot more pips. At the start of each and every session you will face an ultimate challenge: Is today’s market going to be trending or ranging? If it is a trending market, will the trend continue from yesterday or will it be a reversal? In the event it is a reversal, such a market can be quite brutal, but how brutal will it be? Because what will happen during these sessions is so hard to predict and what makes it really frustrating is that when you start out in the morning, you can never tell what will happen by noon.

The Asian session is calm 95% of the time. Although it pretty much behaves the same each day, it is still affected by what happened during the other two preceding it. Hence, it is very predictable and traders know what they’re up against. This allows you to create a more reliable and accurate trading system for day trading and scalping. So, if the EU and the US trading sessions were trending downward, you can say that when entering the Asian market hours, there are not going to be many price moves. The price channel is not going to be sideways either. Still, there will be predefined highs and lows for that channel because again, the Asian session behaves according to trade activity that happened during the day. Hence, we can predict price action during the night hours of the markets.

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Does It Mean Asian Market Hours Is The Best For Day Trading?

These are the top eight benefits of trading on the Asian session:

1. No news releases:

Some traders thing that news release is great for day trading. But this is not true at least for the beginners. They (news) are unpredictable and so hard to control, so its best to ignore them. They are also devastating to systems and robots on the trading platform.

2. No huge price swings:

As the two big sessions are closed and there is no big transactions, there is no big and strong movements, and also the stop losses are more stable.

3. Clear, well-defined price patterns:

There are no unpleasant surprises as big spikes and dips or sideways movements as what goes on during the Asian market hours is governed by what happened during the previous two sessions.

4. Quick trades and fast take profits:

This makes your objected profit easier to reach as no surprise elements will interfere with your goal.

5. Risk/reward/trade setups:

These are average during the EU and US sessions, but exceptional during the Asian session.

6. Less market noise:

Market noise signifies small or large moves that are neither part of a trend or part of a ranging market or activity that makes no sense to any technical pattern or formation.

7. Less stress

8. Less competition

It is known that 95% of investors lose while 5% win. Why? This is because those that lose are where everybody else is. Hence, it is hard to make money in an over saturated environment.

It seems the best market hours for day trading is during the Asian session. The EU and US sessions are analogous to a turbulent ocean while the Asian period is like a calm lake. Trading is more predictable and less stressful then since there are no abrupt price movements nor is there significant market noise.

Great! So you can trade during the Asian session hours. What if you are not in this time zone? Then you either have to change your daily life schedule, sleep during the day and get up in the midnight to be at the computer during the Asian session market hours, or you have to migrate to the other side of the globe to become able to trade during the Asian session.

Also, if you like to trade a more volatile market or probably trade the NY or London sessions news, you will have to do the same if you don’t live in the proper time zone.

The question is whether day trading is the only way to make money through trading? If it was the only way, then it could make sense to do the something to be at the computer during that special market hours. But there are much easier ways to trade and make money. If you think you can make more money because there are more trading opportunities in day trading and following the short time frames, you are wrong. Taking more positions doesn’t equal more profit. Sometimes it causes more loss.

In spite of this, let’s say day traders and scalpers are right and they really make money. Do you really want to get up midnight or migrate to the time zone that covers your favorite market hours to sit at the computer for several hours per day and make some money? Do you really want to handle all these stress while there are much easier ways to make even more money through trading?

I am sure you choose the easier ways. You can make a lot more profit by spending only half an hour at the computer every day.

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68 thoughts on “What Are the Best Market Hours?
  1. richard says:

    Chris, i have the question regarding DBB, how to set a stop loss on that?

  2. Nick says:

    Hi Chris EURAUD daily: To me it looks like a Head And Shoulders pattern is forming and although today’s candle must still close, it broke through daily support. The weekly candle is also already below BMB and if it can close below it I think we will have a strong bearish signal. What do you think?
    I see the GBP weakened against its cross currency pairs. What are your thoughts about it?
    Thank you

  3. Nick says:

    Oh I’m really sorry to bother you when you are not well, maybe you’re working too hard. Get enough rest and I hope you will be fine real soon.
    All the best

  4. Alper says:

    Hi Chris , I have a question, as you know there are some theory about market structure… Especially I interest fractal structures and chaos theory also find it connected the Elliot wave theory … Is it possible to learn your point of view about that topics ?

    • Chris says:

      Hi Alper,

      Elliot Waves makes the work too complicated, specially because you can not find two Elliot Waves traders who agree with each other on one single wave. Even with the candlesticks patterns which is much easer, you see some traders always argue on the forums about the name of a special pattern or candlestick forms. We have done our best to make the work as simple as possible for everybody. While it is possible to trade in an easier and simpler way, why should we make it too complicated?

  5. Alper says:

    By the way hope u get better Chris …

  6. ben says:

    sorry Chris get well soon

  7. Etienne says:

    Hi Chris,

    What would be the best pair(s) to trade during the Asian session (USD/JPY or something else)? Are there specific pairs?

    Thanks

  8. Raj says:

    Hi Chris

    I have observed few points and wanted to share with you. I have moved back to demo trading and practising now. The point I wish to discuss with you is moving averages.

    I have noticed that often moving averages acts as a good support and resistance to initiate a trade with marginal stop loss. Please share your opinion on this and also advise on how to use this (any suggestion EMA from your experience) and trade effectively.

    Thanks.

    • Chris says:

      Hi Raj,

      Markets react to moving averages. The best example is the Bollinger Middle Band which is a 20 Simple Moving Average. However, We need something more reliable and stronger. Just a reaction to the lines can not make a trade setup for us. As I don’t use this method for trading, I can not recommend it to others.

  9. dragan says:

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you for the article, hope you get well soon.
    Best regards, Dragan

  10. Karakasa says:

    Hi Chris, glad to hear you are feeling better now. We will be ready whenever you are, take good care.

    Cheers
    Karakasa

  11. Majid says:

    Dear Chris
    i must admit i was wrong about working with longtime frames.
    i always said we can’t work with long time frames with small accounts.
    i had a Demo account and i abandoned it with 2 open trade . GBP/JPY and AUD/JPY. and i started with another Demo account with another trading style . i believed trade daily is better than weekly because of SWAP fee , but i was wrong.
    as you said : Monthly time frame is the KING!

    i can’t upload the result of 2 week abandoned trades here so i uploaded a screen shot of it to my Domain and i leave the LINK here.
    http://bigbang.ir/ /My_GBPJPY.jpg

    i open a trade with 0.02 lot and i close my trade when i gain 10-20 $ . but as you see in picture GBP/JPY gained 147 $ with 0.02 lots in two week and it’s amazing.
    thank you so much.
    you are the best.

    • Chris says:

      Hi Majid,

      Wow! Congratulations!

      Do you know what is the next stage?

      • Majid says:

        Dear Chris
        i’m not sure about next stage! . but i know i must trust every word of you .
        i know , i should work on long time frames like MN and W1 and sometimes D1 , but not shorter time frames .
        i think the next stage is Live Account but honestly i’m not sure yet .
        thanks
        bests

  12. behnam says:

    hi chris
    i think the archive is not updated. For example the article “monthly time frame is the king” categorized in basic section while there is not this article in archive basic section. please have look if it is important.
    thanks

  13. Majid says:

    Dear Chris
    i have a question and i need to ask . sorry !
    lots of Patterns like hanging man , hammer , shooting star and .. are explainable with candle sticks shadows article (thanks to Kamel) .
    in my opinion there is no different between engulfing , Dark cloud cover , piercing line and harami . if candle stick open higher and close lower of previouse candle (or vise versa) ,it becomes engulfing . if it open higher and close higher , it becomes DCC or PL , if it open lower and close higher ,it becomes harami . and for all of them we should wait for confirmation candle stick .
    i think it’s no matter next candle start from where and close where , it’s important this candle stick must be strong and reversal and we should consider BollingerBands and shadows and other things that you taught us .
    am i wrong ?
    thanks for your patient .
    bests

    • Chris says:

      Hi Majid,

      You are absolutely right. This is what I have emphasized in several occasions on the site, specially when one of the users asks about the name of the patterns and tries to argue whether it is a Dark Cloud Cover or Bearish Engulfing pattern for example. I have explained that names are not important at all. What is important is that whether the formed pattern is a strong enough or not.

  14. behnam says:

    take care and recover soon chris

  15. Mumtaz Hussain says:

    Hi Chris, Hope you would be fine and in good health. I cannot thank you enough for whatever you have given till now. You are a torch bearer in the utter darkness of world. It is only a month I am visiting LuckScout. Com and there is a paradigm shift in my concepts. Whatever you have written is very simple and easy to absorb yet sometimes there are issues which need some clarification depending on the caliber of the reader. You know I have made separate folders for each currency pair to have a clear understanding of their movements. AUD/CAD is one such pair which is in the limelight since 2014.10.16 and its short trade setup has seen many transformations from “a setup very strong by itself” to “having 95-100 score” then to becoming invalid as a short setup and once qualifying for long by DBB and again converting to short etc., hence the list is very long. Nevertheless, the tactical reasons given by you were also not less convincing. I feel there is a need for you to revisit this pair from the beginning and enlighten me about the scenarios when you enter again the very moment your initial stop loss is hit by the price action. I am asking this because the price that goes higher or lower than the high/low price of candlesticks that form the long/short setups invalidates the respective setup. For convenience you may refer to your consolidated comments I have already emailed to Adm.
    Profound Regards
    MUMTAZ HUSSAIN

    • Chris says:

      Hi Mumtaz,

      Thank you for your comment.

      All we do is locating the strongest setups. What will happen after that is what we never know.

      Sure, I will re-analyze AUD/CAD and will answer your questions.

      • Mumtaz Hussain says:

        Hi Chris, Thanks for your kind reply. Now, after going through your all-encompassing articles, I have started understanding the intricacies of. Additionally, it was only after I had submitted my last comment I came to know that you were not well. I apologize for having bothered you with my queries during that time. I wish you to remain always in good health and high spirits. Profound Regards

  16. behnam says:

    hi chris
    have some questions:
    q1- time is 24 hours. it means for example in a daily time frame, it will take 24 hours to form the daily candle. is it true?
    q2- for Asian market( which Iran is in the Asian zone ) , in a daily chart time frame what times will be the opening and closing candles?
    q3- Asian – 7:00 pm to 4:00 and
    Asian – 7:00 pm to 4:00 am and London – 3:00 am to 12:00 pm (noon) it means the difference time for opening of a daily candle between these two market is about 11 hours while the difference time zone between two zone is about -2.5 hours. why it is not clear for me?
    thanks in advance for your description.

    • Chris says:

      Hi Behnam,

      1. Yes, that is true.

      2. The brokers platforms don’t close the candlesticks based on the time zone where the users are located in. The daily candlestick close time is dependent on the platform server time frame.

      3. This has nothing to do with the candlesticks close time.

  17. behnam says:

    hi majid
    as chris said you are absolutely right and i am agree whit you except one point.
    you said: “if it open higher and close higher , it becomes DCC or PL… ” for DDC you are right but not for PL. the PL form when open is lower and close to be lower.
    thanks

  18. Jacques Nel says:

    I am relatively new in and is very excited for your weekly analysis. As a beginner, I look in the email you usually send for the currency pairs you analyze, then I first go to my charts and try myself to analyze those pairs. Only after that do I go and read your full article to see where I went wrong, or right.
    I would encourage all novice traders to give this method a try, It really helps you to think differently the next time you open those charts.
    I am grateful for the help you give us Chris, I am truly learning a lot.

  19. Dogan Sahin says:

    Dear Chris

    From some times I wanted to ask after you check the charts “5 pm at New York closing time” are you going to take positions while New York session closed. Or you prefer to wait next opening times? However this post explains Asian Session is calm and predictable. But I wanted to be shore.

    Thanks

    • Dogan,

      I wait for the daily candlestick close at 5pm est. Then I check the charts.

      • Cheng Yang Ooi says:

        Hi Chris,
        My candlestick daily chart doesn’t close it by at 5pm est as per mentioned by you. Is there any method to change the chart according based on the est time?

        Or what i have to do in order to have the same candlestick chart as you demonstrate to us so far. Thanks a lot.

        • Cheng,

          Daily candlestick close time is a broker side setting. You cannot change it. You have to use the platform of a broker with favorite daily candlestick close time.

  20. muhaimin mahfudz says:

    seems eurousd build Bearish Symmetrical Triangle . whether true yes

  21. Gregg Markmann says:

    Hi Chris and followers,
    Regarding trading timezones I can speak to what works reasonably for me.Trade 90% to 100% set up according to rules set by Chris but try using 8 hour candles (480 minute) I have backtested 15 years in several major pairs using CHICAGO time, (Chicago is the historic home to futures trading which includes currency futures). My charts settings are Midnight to 8 a.m., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and 4 p.m. to midnight. I believe this set up gives access to World trading sessions, has many,many trading set ups according to key rules, allows sleep at night for a Chicago resident, and used in conjunction with daily charts,(NOTE.. close and open worldwide is 4 p.m. Chicago time) makes for what I believe is a reasonable chart time setting. If using 8 hour candles you should manage expectations.Your profit targets may be smaller, but using stop loss rules,your losses will be smaller too.Okay quick pro and con for8 hour charts:PRO: 1. My observations show they work reasonably well using LuckScout rules.2. Timeframe long enough to spare potential profit from getting eaten up by the bid/ask spread. 3.Works to capture activity in the three major market time zones.4. You can get a good night sleep through one of those timezones.5. Can aid in spotting LuckScout signals although I advise a confirmation look at daily chart before pulling the trigger. 6. Stops are usually tighter than daily charts.Now the CONS: 1. Can be more volatile at times,but that’s true with any time frame and parameters.2.Slightly less accurate than the daily,although many more opportunities.3. Profit targets usually is smaller,but so is stop loss.
    Please don’t take my word for it,pick a major pairs,go back 10-15 years, scroll through candle by candle,and observe where you would enter and exit the market using strict preset rules. This can take time,but learning takes time and it’s great practice as well. Hope my observations can be helpful.Good luck to all and always be CAREFUL!!

  22. lillian meng says:

    Thank you, Chris.

    This issue also puzzled me before as I am in Sydney and US session is always in our midnight. My friend doing day trading is even considering to move to Perth with a better trading time zone. After learning the long term trading philosophy and trading system, I realize time zone is not an important issue any more.

  23. Steve Edwards says:

    First before my question below, I would like to express my sincere hope for you Chris to get well soon….:)

    Hello Gregg Markmann

    I would like to ask you what charting platform you’re using in order to trade the 8hr TF? I’ve never heard of anyone trading this TF…

    Thank you…

    • Thank you for your kindness Steve.

    • Gregg Markmann says:

      Hi Steve Edwards,
      I use Tradestation for past 10 years as I started my trading in futures products offered by Chicago Mercantile Exchange.I am not endorsing this platform but it is what I have used from the beginning and it works fine for me and what I am used to. I now use it to trade as well.
      An 8 hour time frame chart is a 480 minute chart. (60 minutes times 8 hours = 480 minutes). Your platform should easily be able to pull up this type of chart but I’m afraid I cannot tell you how because I have never used any other platform then TradeStation. I assume it should be extremely easy for you to figure this out but if you have any trouble you should call your customer support for the platform you use and they should be able to help you out quickly. Also do plenty of backtesting to confirm if this time frame fits your trading personality and ALWAYS,ALWAYS follow the rules of Chris !!! I believe he is quite brilliant.

    • Gregg Markmann says:

      Also please note that I set my charts according to Chicago time and depending upon where you live you would have to adjust your time if you want to check out this time frame as I do. Best of luck!

  24. Steve Edwards says:

    Thank you for your quick response Gregg, I’ll check to see if it is possible to do this on MT4.

  25. Alex Maweturi says:

    ‘The Asian session is calm 95% of the time.’

    What makes the market be less calm on the other 5% of the time? And does big spikes occur during that 5% of the time?

  26. delight ohale says:

    Remain blessed,Chris.
    Your message has transformed the way, which i visualize trade.
    But, my question is; is it good to scalp the BB-CANDLE CHART-MONTHLY Time Frame,which you taught us.
    I likes scalping. Please,honour my humble question.
    once again, Remain Blessed!
    From: Delight

    • Delight,

      Thank you.

      Strong setups rarely form on monthly time frame, and if they do, you have to stay and maximize your profit as much as you can. It is not a good idea to take some profit and get out.