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Which forex session is most volatile?

In the world of forex trading, volatility is a crucial factor that traders consider when making trading decisions. Volatility refers to the degree of variation in the price of a currency pair over time. Understanding when the forex market is most volatile can help traders capitalize on price movements and maximize profit potential. This article explores the different forex trading sessions and identifies which one tends to be the most volatile, with the keyword “forex” highlighted in each paragraph.


Forex Trading Sessions

The forex market operates 24 hours a day, five days a week, across different time zones. There are four main trading sessions:


Tokyo Session: Also known as the Asian session, it begins at 12:00 AM GMT and ends at 9:00 AM GMT.


London Session: The European session starts at 8:00 AM GMT and ends at 5:00 PM GMT.

New York Session: The US session begins at 1:00 PM GMT and ends at 10:00 PM GMT.

Sydney Session: The Australian session starts at 10:00 PM GMT and ends at 7:00 AM GMT.

Each trading session has its unique characteristics, including trading volume, liquidity, and volatility levels.

Volatility in Forex Trading Sessions

Volatility in the forex market is influenced by various factors, including economic news releases, geopolitical events, market sentiment, and trading activity. While volatility can occur during any trading session, certain times of the day tend to experience higher levels of volatility than others.

Asian Session

The Asian session is known for its relatively lower volatility compared to other trading sessions. This is because major financial centers such as London and New York are closed during this time, resulting in reduced trading activity and liquidity. However, volatility may increase during the overlap with the European session, especially when significant economic data or news events are released.

European Session

The London session is considered one of the most volatile forex trading sessions. It overlaps with both the Asian and New York sessions, leading to increased trading activity and liquidity. Economic data releases from Europe, such as GDP reports, inflation figures, and central bank announcements, can also contribute to volatility during this session. Traders often closely monitor the London session for trading opportunities.

US Session

The New York session is another highly volatile period in the forex market. It overlaps with the European session for a few hours, resulting in increased trading volume and liquidity. Economic data releases from the United States, such as non-farm payroll reports, consumer sentiment, and Federal Reserve announcements, can significantly impact market volatility during this session. Many traders prefer to focus on the New York session due to its high liquidity and trading opportunities.

Cross-Session Overlaps

The periods of overlap between different trading sessions can experience heightened volatility as market participants from multiple regions actively trade. For example, the overlap between the London and New York sessions, known as the “London-New York overlap,” typically sees increased trading volume and volatility as traders from both regions are actively participating in the market. This overlap occurs from 12:00 PM GMT to 4:00 PM GMT and is considered one of the busiest times in the forex market.

See Also: How much spread is good in forex?

Factors Influencing Volatility

Several factors contribute to volatility in the forex market, regardless of the trading session.

Economic Releases

Key economic indicators and news releases, such as GDP growth, employment data, inflation reports, and central bank decisions, can have a significant impact on currency prices and market volatility. Traders often anticipate these releases and adjust their positions accordingly to capitalize on potential price movements.

Geopolitical Events

Geopolitical events, such as elections, geopolitical tensions, trade negotiations, and geopolitical conflicts, can create uncertainty in the forex market and lead to increased volatility. Traders closely monitor geopolitical developments and their potential implications for currency markets.

Market Sentiment

Market sentiment, or the collective mood of traders and investors, can influence forex market volatility. Positive sentiment can lead to increased risk appetite and higher volatility, while negative sentiment can result in risk aversion and lower volatility. Traders use various sentiment indicators and market analysis techniques to gauge market sentiment and anticipate potential price movements.

Trading Activity

Trading activity, including the number of market participants, order flow, and trading volumes, can impact forex market volatility. Higher trading activity typically leads to increased liquidity and volatility, especially during peak trading hours and session overlaps.


While volatility can occur during any forex trading session, the London and New York sessions are generally considered the most volatile due to higher trading volumes, liquidity, and the release of key economic data. The overlap between these sessions, known as the London-New York overlap, is particularly volatile and presents numerous trading opportunities for forex traders.

Understanding when the forex market is most volatile is essential for traders seeking to capitalize on price movements and maximize profit potential. By identifying the factors influencing volatility and monitoring key economic releases, geopolitical events, and market sentiment, traders can make informed trading decisions and navigate the dynamic forex market effectively.

In summary, while volatility in the forex market is influenced by various factors and can occur during any trading session, the London and New York sessions are typically the most volatile. Traders should remain vigilant and adaptable, adjusting their strategies to capitalize on changing market conditions and seize opportunities for profit in the dynamic world of forex trading.

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