Forex Market Hours in South Africa

Forex Market Hours in South Africa
.25 Jan 2024
author avatar image Chad Smith

Table of Contents

The Forex Markets

Forex market hours are quite important for forex traders. They present more opportunities to open and close positions. The forex trading sessions in South Africa are no exception. There are four major forex sessions in the world today, London, New York, Sydney, and Tokyo. These are the four key drivers of the forex exchange market that also open at distinct times during the day. By virtue of this, the forex market remains open and tradable 24 hours a day for 5 days a week.

So, why is it important to know about these sessions? Are there any ins and outs? Are some forex sessions in South Africa more significant than others? What do certain trading hours have to do with the marketplace’s liquidity and volatility? This post seeks to provide answers to these questions and hopefully give you a better understanding of how you can best optimize the available time frames and also build your strategy around them. Tag along to find out more!

Forex Market 4 Trading Opening Times

While the forex trading hours stay open 24 hours every day, it is important to distinguish the opening hours of the four distinct sessions. Usually, the market period opening times depend on the opening time of the stock exchange market of that particular country or region.

For example, in South Africa, the Johannesburg stock market open time is 9.00 a.m. and it closes at 5.00 p.m. (GMT +02:00) South African Standard Time (SAST). Unfortunately, the South African stock exchange market does not provide pre-market or post-market opportunities.

The four key forex trading hours in South Africa present you with every chance to get your stake in the forex market. Regardless of the session, whether you’re trading the Sydney, Tokyo, London, or New York sessions, there is always an opportunity to get into the market.

Let’s have a look at the different session’s open and defunct times in South African Standard Time.

Trading PeriodsOpen and close time
Sydney11.00 p.m. — 7.00 a.m.
Tokyo1.00 a.m. — 9.00 a.m.
London9.00 a.m. — 6.00 p.m.
New York2.00 p.m. — 10.00 p.m.

New York Session Time in South Africa

The New York session begins at 2.00 p.m., which is right after the New York stock exchange opens as well. This market time is primarily stirred by the activities in the United States together with the contribution of Mexico, Canada, and other South American countries.

The New York forex market hours have the second most volatility after the London session. The top currencies to trade during this convention are GBP, EUR, AUD, and USD. Towards the end of the New York market period, volume dies down and price movement reduces significantly as Sydney joins.

Tokyo Session Time in South Africa

Also termed the Asian session, this specific convention is characterized by relatively slower movement in price. It’s during this time that spreads regularly inflate in most trading platforms. This phase of the market is typically overlooked by most retail forex traders because of the slower movement of the price, which is usually a sign of less price liquidity and volatility.

However, due to the lower price volatility, it is relatively easier to predict the movement of price during this session. The Tokyo period starts at 1.00 a.m. and ends at 9.00 a.m. SAST.

London Session Time in South Africa

London opens at 9.00 a.m. SAST. Among all the existing trading time periods, this is the most volatile and experiences the most volume and swift price movement. Volatility through these forex market hours can work with or against you. When price moves fast, it is quite difficult to anticipate some movements, therefore, getting into positions becomes relatively difficult.

However, if you get the movement right, then you’ll love the volatility which comes with this particular period. The most active currency pairs during this session are those that are paired with GBP, USD, and EUR. Volume and volatility eventually die down towards the end of the period, which is around 6.00 p.m. SAST.

Sydney Session Time in South Africa

The Sydney session is when the market all over the world officially begins right at 11.00 p.m. SAST.
While Sydney might be the smallest market when compared with the others, it often receives relatively high volatility, especially after the weekend pause.

It is also important to mention that the trading period opening and closing time is subject to change at different times of the year. The countries that experience daylight saving will have a slight difference in the opening and closing times of the market. Daylight saving usually occurs during March, April, October, and November.

Which Forex Trading Session Is Best?

First off, it is important to deduce what currency pair you’re interested in. Different currency pairs get different price movements during the day. However, in order to capitalize on the greatest movement in price throughout the day, the ideal time to trade is from 9.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. SAST.

London period open, New York open, and the London/ New York crossover all happen during this time frame. During these forex market hours, you will be able to get into trades when the price is at its most active levels.

Is It Good to Trade at Night in South Africa?

Fortunately for South Africa, the utmost active trading hours happen in the course of the day. What this means is that you are able to trade when the price is most volatile. The Tokyo and Sydney hours happen during the night here in South Africa. Immediately at 11.00 p.m. is when Sydney starts indicating the beginning of a new market day.

The major disadvantage of being in a position at night when the volume in the market dies down is that you have to deal with huge spreads which are common in all forex broker companies. A larger spread means that your average return on your risk will be lesser as compared to when the spreads are tighter.

Essentially, you have the option of trading during any session, but preeminent forex market hours in South Africa are during London and New York market hours.

Bottom Line

The forex market is pretty much open 24 hours on business days, and you don’t need to be in positions for every existing period. In fact, the best trading hours for South African forex traders are during the day, which makes it quite convenient.

Choosing a forex pair that gives you the most volatility during the day is ideal. Remember to include a risk management plan in your strategy and trade whenever it is most convenient for you. While the forex market is active 24 hours 5 days a week, it is not possible to spend all your waking hours on the charts.

There are four major trading phases that you can take advantage of as a South African trader. This post elucidates the different trading time periods available. You also get to familiarize yourself with preeminent time periods to trade in South Africa. Ready to trade? Have a look at our guide on forex brokers in South Africa.

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Chad Smith

Chad Smith is the Director of Research & Analysis here at Chad previously served as an Editor for a number of websites related to finance and trading, where he authored a significant number of published articles about trading and the impact of technology in transforming investing as we know it. Overall, Chad is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher with more than 15 years of trading experience, and you can find him teaching his dog how to trade in his free time.