Best Time To Trade forex In South Africa

Best Time To Trade forex In South Africa

Here’s a breakdown of the major trading sessions & their trading hours for South Africa

Trading Session South Africa Time (GMT +1)
Asian Session 12:00 AM to 09:00 AM
London Session 08:00 AM to 05:00 PM
New York Session 02:00 PM to 11:00 PM


In many cases there is overlapping of 2 Trading sessions generally during the closing of one session & the opening of the other.


For example: The London Session is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (South Africa time) – & the New York Session Opens at 2:00 PM . So when the New York Session opens the London session is in progress (but almost about to close). In this example, there is any overlap of 3 hours between the London & New York sessions.

When two sessions are simultaneously open & overlap, there are even higher volumes generated. This is because participants from both time zones are placing buy/sell orders. Hence the changes in price are visible in the market during sessions with high trading volumes. There are times when trading sessions between Tokyo, London and New York overlap, and volume spikes are visible during these times since traders from both the time zones are active during those hours.

3 Forex trading sessions and their market hours in Nigeria time zone:

  1. Asian Sessions
  2. European Session (London Session)
  3. New York session


While trading forex it is essential to understand the features of each trading sessions. So, let’s look further.

Asian Session

Asian markets account for around 20% of the daily forex trading volumes. The major participants are traders from Japan (3rd largest forex trading centre in the world by volume), Australia, Hong Kong & Singapore. It is open from 01:00 AM to 10:00 AM.

The main characteristics of the Asian Session are:

  1. The major currency pairs that have the highest volume in the Asian session include: AUD/USD, USD/JPY and NZD/USD. In the Asian markets, the most traded currencies are the Japanese Yen (JPY) & the Australian Dollar (AUD).
  2. The volatility and liquidity in major currency pairs like EUR/USD, GBP/USD is low for daily trades, so you should not trade these currencies during this session as the chances to make profits are slim.
  3. The forex market in Tokyo session opens at 01:00 AM and closes at 10:00 AM South Africa Time (GMT +1). There is an overlap occurs in the last hour of the Tokyo session and the first hour of the London session. Since the closing hours of Asian session overlaps with the London session opening, Asian traders occasionally witness breakouts at the end of the day due to instant liquidity.
  4. News from Japan & Australia would impact the price movements in this session.
  5. It is better to scan the markets during the Asian session and plan your trades for the overlap between the London and New York sessions.

European Session (London Session)

Globally, European session is the largest financial session in the world. Trading in this session contributes to around 37% of the total daily forex traded turnover. The major participants are from London (contributes to almost 31% of global trading volume) & Germany. The London market opens at 8:00 AM and closes at 05:00 PM (Nigerian Time).

The main characteristics of the London Session are:

  1. The currency pairs with highest volume in the London session are EUR/USD, GBP/USD, EUR/GBP, USD/CHF. The most traded currencies in this session are the Euro (EUR), and the British Pound (GBP).
  2. The liquidity is highest during the opening of the London session, so the spreads are the lowest. Breakouts & trends in majors are common in this session, so it is perfect time for profitable day trading.
  3. Price movements are mainly affected bynews from UK & European Union (EU) Countries including Germany, France & Switzerland.
  4. Volatility is high during the opening hours of the London session and starts to decrease around Lunch time. It then again picks up during the opening of the New York session.
  5. There is an overlapping of 3 hours with the New York session. Traders can trade between hours of overlapping of the London and New York sessions to benefit from high liquidity & price movements.
  6. At the end of the session in London, most European traders are squaring off their positions, which could cause unexpected price movement. This price action may happen during the New York lunch hour. This means, as a trader you should monitor your trades during this time.

New York session

After London, New York is the Second largest session in the world. The New York session contributes to around 17% to 18% of the total daily forex trading turnover. Major participants are traders from America and Canada. The forex market in New York session is open from 02:00 PM to 11:00 PM (South  Africa Time).

The main characteristics of the New York Session are:

  1. Pairs that include the USD are highly volatile during the New York session. Currency pairs like USD/CAD, EUR/USD, GBP/USD, EUR/JPY and GBP/JPY, have the highest movements.
  2. The overlap between the London and New York session is the most liquid period of the Day. The four hours when the two-session overlap, big and fast moves are visible as the liquidity in the markets is high. The price movements in New York session either follow the trends of the Asian and London sessions or, they can reverse the existing trend.
  3. The liquidity reduces towards the end of the New York session, so it’s best not to trade during those times.
  4. New York is the 2nd largest financial center in the world. Big Moves are visible on the release of news reports from the US and Canada. Also, the markets can be affected by the arrival of late news from the UK.

What is the best Time to Trade Forex in South Africa

Nigerian traders should trade during the opening hours of the London session – 8:00 AM to early New York session hours till 5:00 PM South Africa time.

This is the time when the liquidity is highest for major currency pairs like EUR/USD, GBP/USD etc. Trends are common during these hours & also there are lots of chances to close positions profitably in short time. So it is perfect time for day trading.

Forex Market hours in Nigeria
In general, the hours to trade forex will also depends upon your trading strategy and currency pairs that you want to trade.

For example: If you want to trade JPY then you might want to trade during the Asian session as well for picking the movements.

So practice first on demo account to figure which hours of the day best suit your trading strategy. Only after you have found a working strategy, you should then trade live in those hours.

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