Market Activity Sectors
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The first and last trading hours of any stock exchange are hours of peak activity on the market. Having analysed charts and data for major currency pairs over a period of 15 years, and compared it with time of key economic data releases we came up with the Market Activity Sectors.
The hours of the Activity Sectors are, however, slightly approximate. It means that the market activity doesn’t necessarily start or end at a given hour sharp, as well as there can’t be equal amounts of market activity daily. It varies depending on current weekday, season, and economic situation. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the most active trading days; however, some important and influential economic releases don’t come out on daily basis. That is why traders need a combination of tools to understand market moves. As for seasons (some countries switch to DST for Summer), European and American Markets start working an hour earlier in Summer (April – October), but the Activity Sector for European session and the Activity Sector for North American session don’t change throughout seasons because our observations and testing data shows that variuos coinciding factors make the peaks in market activity fit into the highlighted Market Activity hours regardless of the current season.
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Changes temporaritly do not apply to pictures. All pictures show UTC time.
Asian - Pacific Market Activity Sector
12:00 am - 02:00 am
Peak activity on Asian - Pacific markets starts with the opening of trading in Tokyo, covers the first 30 minutes of Chinese Session (Shanghai, Hongkong) and the first hour of Singapore trading session.
The first (and the last) trading hour of any stock exchange is time of the highest activity. One half of the Asian - Pacific Activity Period is occupied by the markets and economies of Tokyo (the first trading hour starts), Sydney and Wellington with their currencies in the spotlight. A lot of action happens for the Yen majors, e.g. USD/JPY, GBP/CHF, and GBP/JPY. Behavior of the Yen may reveal its general direction, which helps when focusing on forex transactions involving the Yen.
There are two Strategic Points
relevant to this Market Activity period:
Market activity increases when Japanese banks, especially the Bank of Japan, attempt the most important transactions from 01:00 am to 02:00 am. Important Japanese economic releases are sometimes published during the second hour of this Market Activity Sector. E.g. BoJ Interest Rate Decision comes out at 02:00 am.
With China's growing economic influence, Chinese economic data that drives the market is also worth attention. News is published from 01:00 am to 02:00 am inclusive (that is: 01:00 am, 01:30 am, 01:45 am and 02:00 am respectively).
The end of this Activity Period falls on a time frame of 01:30 am - 02:30 am and is covered by another Strategic Point
: 02:30 am
Asian - Pacific Overlap
Asian Trading Session
European - Asian Market Activity Sector
07:00 am - 11:00 am
European - Asian and Middle Eastern Market Activity Sector starts at 07:00 am. If you look at the figure, you'll see that for Summer (April - October) this is the time when European stock exchanges enter the market. Trading still continues in Asia and overlaps with European Session.
During Winter, European Session starts an hour later but the Activity Sector remains the same. 07:00 am is the last trading hour of Hong Kong and either the beginning of the trading day (Dubai) or the first trading hour (Riyadh) on the Middle Eastern markets with a lot of action happening in both regions.
The most important economic releases are published: from 07:00 am to 09:30 am for GBP, from 06:00 am to 10:00 am for EUR (Germany) and from 05:45 am to 09:30 am for CHF (Source).
Markets activity weakens by 11:00 am
and this Strategic Point
marks the end of the European - Asian Market Activity Sector.
European - Asian Overlap
European Trading Session
U.S. - European Market Activity Sector
12:30 pm - 04:30 pm
This Activity Sector starts right or some time after European lunch. Activity gathers pace; North American exchanges and banks open for business, and then the Europe and the United States trading overlaps introducing a sufficiant amount of aggression into the trading.
Influential news and data for USD come out approximately from 01:30 pm to 03:00 pm (Source) and play the most important part in the North American Session.
Activity continues to peak either utill the end of the European session (see "for Winter"), or for one more hour after the Europe exits the market ("for Summer"). By the U.S. lunch time it usually goes down.
A Strategic Point for the end of the European session:
U.S. - European Overlap
Amerian Trading Session
Market Activity Sector for the last trading hour of the U.S. Session
08:00 pm - 09:00 pm
The fourth Forex Market Activity Period emphasized by the Market 24h Clock is the last trading hour of the U.S. and Canadian stock exchanges. It is widely covered by the corresponding Strategic Point:
Keep an eye on news and headlines: