Best Time to Day Trade the EUR/USD Forex Pair

Best hours of the day to day trade the EUR/USD

The allure of forex day trading is that you can trade 24-hours a day. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean you should. Day traders should only trade a forex pair when it's active and there's lots of volume and transactions occurring. The EUR/USD has certain hours which are acceptable for day trading because there is enough volatility to generate profits which are likely greater than the cost of the spread and/or commission. To be efficient and capture the largest moves of the day, day traders hone in even further, often day trading only during a specific three to four-hour window.

Day Trading Sessions and the Impact on EURUSD Volatility

major forex trading session, GMT
Forex Sessions, in GMT. TheBalance.com

The forex market operates 24-hours a day during the week, because there's always a global market open somewhere due to time zone differences. But not every global market actively trades every currency. Therefore, different forex pairs are actively traded at different times of the day.

When London (and Europe) are open for business, pairs that involve the euro (EUR) or British pound (GBP) are more actively traded. When New York (U.S. and Canada) are open for business, pairs that involve the US dollar (USD) and Canadian dollar (CAD) are more active.

If day trading the EUR/USD, the times that are likely to be most active for the pair, on average, will be when London and New York are open. Those markets are open between 0800 and 2200 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). To see major market hours in your own timezone, or your broker's (charts) time zone, use the forex market hours tools.

Acceptable Times to Day Trade EUR/USD

EURUSD good hours for day trading
Good Hours for Day Trading the EURUSD, in GMT. Mataf.net

The hourly volatility chart shows how many pips the EUR/USD moves each hour of the day. Times are in GMT.

There is a significant increase in the amount of movement starting at 0700, which continues through to 2000. After this, movement each hour begins to taper off, so there are likely to be fewer big price moves day traders can participate in.

Day traders should ideally trade between 0700 and 2000GMT. Trading outside of these hours, the pip movement may not be large enough to compensate for the spread and/or commissions.

Volatility changes over time. For example, daily average volatility at the time of writing is 100 pips per day. Daily average movement could increase to 130 pip per day, which means each hour is likely to see slightly higher pip movement. Or daily average movement could drop to 75 pips per day.  While overall volatility may change, the hours which are most volatile generally do not change too much. 0700 to 2000 GMT will continue to be the most acceptable time to day trade, regardless of whether daily volatility increases or decreases. Note that daylight savings time may affect trading hours in your area.

Ideal Times to Day Trade EUR/USD

most active hours of day for EURUSD
Most Active Hours of the Day for EURUSD (GMT). Mataf.net

0700 to 2000 GMT are acceptable hours for day trading the EURUSD. There is adequate movement to potentially extract a profit and cover spread and commission costs.

Ideally though, day trade the EUR/USD between 1300 and 1600 GMT. This will maximize efficiency. During this period you'll see the biggest moves of the day, which means greater profit potential, and the spread and commissions will have the least impact relative to potential profit.

Also, London and New York are both open during this three-hour window. That means a lot of volume coming in from two major markets, so spreads are typically tightest during this time.

Looking for a day trading strategy to trade during these times? Check out the Engulfing Candle Day Trading Strategy.

Best Time to Day Trade the EUR/USD

best times of day to day trade the EURUSD
erhui1979/Getty Images

Not everyone is a full-time day trader, and therefore can't choose when they trade. If you can't trade during the ideal window of 1300 to 1600 GMT, then day trade the EUR/USD at some other point between 0700 and 2000 GMT. Trading during these times maximizes profit potential due to the size of the price moves, and spreads are typically at their lowest during these times as well.