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When is the forex market open and when should you trade in the UK?

Ready to start trading forex? Practise with a demo account or open a live account to get started Although the forex market is usually closed over the weekend, IG is the only UK provider to offer weekend trading on the GBP/USD currency pair. This means you never need to miss an opportunity to trade, as…

Ready to start trading forex? Practise with a demo account or open a live account to get started

Although the forex market is usually closed over the weekend, IG is the only UK provider to offer weekend trading on the GBP/USD currency pair. This means you never need to miss an opportunity to trade, as well as enabling you to hedge your weekday GBP/USD positions with a weekend trade on the same market.

Our weekend forex trading hours run from 4am Saturday to 8.40pm Sunday (UK time). Any positions left open past 8.40pm (UK time) on a Sunday will roll over into weekday positions when those markets resume 20 minutes later at 9pm (UK time).

Learn more about weekend trading with IG

Broadly speaking, there are three main sessions to trade forex: the Asia-Pacific session, the Europe session and the US session. The first of these to open is the Asia-Pacific session, with Sydney opening at 9pm (UK time) and closing at 6am (UK time) the following morning. Tokyo – also part of the Asia-Pacific session – opens at 12am (UK time) and closes at 9am (UK time).

The next session to open is Europe, with London – the largest forex centre in the world – opening at 8am (UK time) and closing at 4pm (UK time). The US is the last session to open and to close, with trading in New York starting at 12pm (UK time) and closing at 9pm (UK time), at which point the Sydney session opens again.

It is important to remember that forex trading hours can vary in March, April, October and November, as countries shift to and from daylight savings or summer times on different days. They should also bear in mind, that no single forex trading session is open 24 hours on its own but rather, the forex market itself is open 24 hours because of the different sessions during which trades can be made.

Why are the forex market’s trading times important?

The forex market’s trading times are important because, although it is open 24 hours a day, the market is more active during different sessions, or when there is a crossover between two sessions in different geographic locations, which means that spreads are tighter. However, this increased activity is typically confined to currencies that are found in both locations of a crossover – for example, GBP/USD experiences greater trading volume when both the European and US sessions are open between 12pm and 4pm (UK time).

The beginning of each trading session is when the big institutions such as investment banks are active, and this is often when relevant economic data for each session is published. For example, the UK’s major data releases come out at 8.30am (UK time), while the US tends to publish its numbers from 11.30am, until about 2.30pm (UK time).

These announcements can generate significant volatility depending on the market reaction, so every forex trader needs to know when they are published.

When is the best time to trade forex in the UK?

Typically, the UK forex market is most active just after the open of the London session at 8am (UK time). At this time, liquidity and volatility will likely be high as traders begin interacting with each other. Trading will usually become less liquid at around 10am (UK time), and it will pick up again after the American markets open at around 12pm (UK time).

Trading forex during the London session in the UK

Popular forex pairs to trade during the London session are the majors such as the GBP/USD cross or the EUR/GBP cross. This is especially true during the overlap between the London and New York markets, as well as the European session which is open during almost identical hours to the London session.

The Tokyo-London crossover is historically not as busy as the London-New York crossover because of the simple fact that there is a greater cross over in terms of trading hours between London and New York than between London and Tokyo. The table below has information about some popular forex pairs and their average daily pip movement over a 12-month period starting November 2018 during the London session.

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Daily Financial News

Don’t Count On JPY Correction; Staying Long GBP/JPY

The path of the potential pace of the JPY decline may still be underestimated by markets, which continue trading the JPY long.

While the 10% USDJPY advance from September lows looks impressive from a momentum point of view, it may no thave been driven by Japan’s institutional investors reducing their hedging ratios or Japan’s household sector reestablishing carry trades.

Instead, investors seemed to have been caught on the wrong foot, concerned about a sudden decline of risk appetite or the incoming US administration being focused on trade issues and not on spending. Spending requires funding and indeed the President-elect Trump’s team appears to be focused on funding. Here are a few examples: Reducing corporate taxation may pave the way for US corporates repatriating some of their USD2.6trn accumulated foreign profits. Cutting bank regulation could increase the risk-absorbing capacity within bank balance sheets. Hence, funding conditions – including for the sovereign – might generally ease. De-regulating the oil sector would help the trade balance, slowing the anticipated increase in the US current account deficit. The US current account deficit presently runs at 2.6% of GDP, which is below worrisome levels. Should the incoming government push for early trade restrictions, reaction (including Asian sovereigns reducing their holdings) could increase US funding costs, which runs against the interest of the Trump team.

Instead of counting on risk aversion to stop the JPY depreciation, we expect nominal yield differentials and the Fed moderately hiking rates to unleash capital outflows from Japan.The yield differential argumenthas become more compelling with the BoJ turning into yield curve managers. Via this policy move, rising inflation rates push JPY real rates and yields lower, which will weaken the JPY. Exhibit 12 shows how much Japan’s labor market conditions have tightened. A minor surge in corporate profitability may now be sufficient, pushing Japan wages up and implicity real yields lower.

JPY dynamics are diametrical to last year . Last year, the JGB’s “exhausted”yield curve left the BoJ without a tool to push real yields low enough to adequately address the weakened nominal GDP outlook. JPY remained artificially high at a time when the US opted for sharply lower real yields. USDJPY had to decline, triggering JPY bullish secondround effects via JPY-based financial institutions increasing their FX hedge ratios and Japan’s retail sector cutting its carry trade exposures. Now the opposite seems to be happening. The managed JGB curve suggests rising inflation expectations are driving Japan’s real yield lower. The Fed reluctantly hiking rates may keep risk appetite supported but increase USD hedging costs.Financial institutions reducinghedge ratios and Japan’s household sector piling back into the carry trade could provide secondround JPY weakening effects

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Daily Financial News

Mexico raises interest rates, cites Trump as risk

The head of Mexico’s central bank says U.S. Republican candidate Donald Trump represents a “hurricane” sized threat to Mexico.

Banco de Mexico Gov. Agustin Carstens told the Radio Formula network Friday that a Trump presidency “would be a hurricane and a particularly intense one if he fulfills what he has been saying in his campaign.”

Trump has proposed building a wall along the border and re-negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Mexico’s central bank raised its prime lending rate by half a percent to 4.75 percent Thursday, citing “nervousness surrounding the possible consequences of the U.S. elections, whose implications for Mexico could be particularly significant.”

Mexico’s peso had lost about 6 percent in value against the dollar since mid-August. It recovered slightly after the rate hike

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Financial News

Africa’s first Fairtrade certified gold co-operative offers hope to gold miners living in poverty

Syanyonja Artisan Miners’ Alliance (SAMA) has become the first artisanal small scale mining co-operative in Africa to become Fairtrade certified, bringing much needed hope to impoverished communities who risk their lives to mine the rich gold seam that runs around Lake Victoria.

SAMA is one of nine previously informal groups from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania which has benefitted from a pilot project launched by Fairtrade in 2013. This innovative program aims to extend the benefits of Fairtrade gold to artisanal miners across East Africa.

In that short time, SAMA has undergone training in business and entrepreneurship, as well as safe use of mercury, internal control systems, labour rights and better working conditions, health and safety and more. Previously, daily contact with toxic chemicals used to process gold meant members risked disease, premature births and even death.  Fairtrade gold was first launched in 2011, and SAMA now joins Fairtrade certified gold mines MACDESA, AURELSA and SOTRAMI in Peru.

The co-operative produces just 5 kg gold per year, but nevertheless has the potential to significantly benefit many people in the local community through better conditions through certification. It is expected that Fairtrade and organizations like Cred Jewellery will support the miners, ensuring their gold can be refined and made available to jewellers in the UK and other markets.

Gonzaga Mungai, Gold Manager at Fairtrade Africa said: “This is a truly momentous and historical achievement and the realisation of a dream that is many years in the making. Gold production is an important source of income for people in rural economies. Congratulations to SAMA, it sets a precedent which shows that if groups like this can achieve certification, then it can work for others right across the African continent.”

The Fairtrade Gold Standard encourages better practice and changes to come in line with international regulation around the production and trade of so-called ‘conflict minerals’. Under the Standard, miners are required to:

  • Uphold a human rights policy preventing war crimes, bribery, money laundering and child labour
  • Clearly represent where the minerals were mined
  • Minimise the risks of conflict minerals through robust risk assessments and collaboration across supply chains
  • Report to buyers and trading partners regarding the risks of conflict minerals

Now in its second phase, the programme will focus on supporting other mining groups in the region to access affordable loans and explore a phased approach to accessing the Fairtrade market, allowing more mining co-operatives across Africa to participate in the programme.

Gonzaga added: “Sourcing African metals from smallscale miners in the Great Lakes Region is the responsible thing to do. For a long time companies have avoided buying gold from this region, with devastating consequences for impoverished communities who were already struggling. It has driven trade deeper underground, as unscrupulous buyers pay lower prices and launder illegal gold into legitimate supply chains. That’s why we have chosen to work with these groups to help them earn more from their gold within a robust compliance system that offers social, environmental, and economic protections.”

The Fairtrade gold programme offers a small but scalable solution to sustainable sourcing of gold from the region in line with Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act in the US, OECD Due Diligence Guidance and recent EU Supply-Chain Due Diligence proposals which could come into effect in 2016. This means that up to 880,000 EU firms that use tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold in manufacturing consumer products could be obliged to provide information on steps they have taken to identify and address risks in their supply chains for so-called ‘conflict minerals’.

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