The forex market is a global marketplace and trades 24 hours a day, five days a week. This around-the-clock trading environment is not unique to the forex market but certainly does make it easier to manage trades around a schedule that fits your lifestyle rather than certain market hours. In the United States the forex market begins trading Sunday evening as Asian markets open for business and continues to trade until the New York markets close on Friday afternoon. However, just because the market is open 24 hours a day doesn't necessarily mean anything interesting is happening.
There are three major trading sessions that account for the majority of volume seen throughout the trading day. The largest trading session by volume is the London session. London is uniquely positioned in a time zone that's open for business during work hours stretching from Dubai to New York. The London trading session accounts for the most price action and volume in the forex market by a long shot. New York follows London as the second largest trading session; Tokyo, or the Asian trading session, rounds out the top three.
TABLE 1.3 Trading Session Timetable
London New York Tokyo
Table 1.3 lists the three major trading sessions in the forex market and the times during which they are active. The times are listed in Eastern Standard Time.
Many trading strategies depend on the activity seen during the highervolume trading sessions. For many traders who work at day jobs, it is impractical to trade during a trading session that happens while they sleep or are at work. This book focuses on placing trades around supply and demand levels during the quiet times of the market, around your schedule. It is better to plan and enter long-term trades during the quiet hours of the market and leave the trading sessions to day traders who enjoy staring at charts all day.
Trading currency is a process of exchanging one currency for another, so each currency trade is actually two transactions happening at the same time. One currency is bought while the other is sold. The forex market quotes prices as currency pairs to facilitate the ease of trading one currency for another. The quote of a currency pair represents the number of units of one currency that are required to buy or sell the equivalent amount of the other, based on the given exchange rate. For example, if the exchange rate between the U.S. dollar and the Canadian dollar is $1.12, a trader may purchase 1.12 Canadian dollars for every one U.S. dollar, or she can buy one dollar for every 1.12 Canadian dollars. Your goal as a currency trader is to hold the currency you believe will gain value against the other currency quoted in the pair. It really is as simple as that.
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