What Time Does the Forex Market Open in South Africa?
In this article
There are four major Forex centres worldwide: New York, London, Tokyo, and Sydney. Because of their locations, they make Forex a 24-hour market. What time does the Forex market open in South Africa? Forex can get traded at any time of the day, 24/5, making it an over-the-counter (OTC) market. There’s no centralised forex exchange; therefore, you can trade Forex through banks, brokers, and market makers.
When considering this, forex trading times get offered 24/5, meaning trading is over weekdays only, 24 hours a day. This can also be referred to as liquidity in the marketplace.
By understanding the various trading times and when the best times to trade are, you’ll get to concentrate on your trading strategies.
What Time Does the Forex Market Open in South Africa
Forex trading hours are the times when you can place Open and Close positions and exchange currencies. Trading times are when banks, investors, and companies are open. In South Africa, this will fall between 9 AM and 5 PM.
The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) opens on Mondays to Fridays from 9 AM to 5 PM South African Standard Time (GMT +02:00). The JSE does not have after-hours trading or pre-market trading.
South African traders can trade currency pairs during any of the major Forex trading sessions. Trading starts in New Zealand and continues until it closes in the United States. Here is a Forex market Time Converter to help you make the calculations easier.
The various trading sessions are in South African local time (Please note DST):
- Sydney open and close – 11 PM to 7 AM
- Tokyo open and close (Asia) – 1 AM to 9 AM
- London open and close (Europe) – 9 AM to 6 PM
- New York (NY) open and close – 2 PM to 10 PM
We found a good visual table illustration of forex market sessions in GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), making it easy to convert into any timezone.
The Best Times to Trade in South Africa
We can see that markets are open at different times depending on the country. How do we know when the best time is to trade Forex in South Africa?
The best trading times get determined by the three major markets.
The Asian market: characterized by lower liquidity as it’s relatively quiet.
The European market: Has the highest trading volume and is centred around London. Currencies that are the most active are GBP, USD, and EUR.
The United States market: Has the second-highest volume and gets centred around New York, and comprises other American states. The most active currencies are EUR, USD, AUD, and GBP.
The middle of the day has less liquidity. The majority of trading takes place near the beginning and the end of the day—shorter trading windows allow for reducing spreads and increasing liquidity.
When Active Markets Overlap
In South Africa, the best Forex trading hours are when the market is the most active globally. The three main trading centres market hours overlap at specific points throughout the day, making them the busiest trading times. Here we explain what time the Forex market opens in South Africa.
8 AM to 10 AM (SAST)
If you’re trading EUR/JPY, this is the best time to be trading these currency pairs. Volatility is not as high, but it does give trades a chance when there’s high pip fluctuation. If you’re in South Africa, this would be an excellent time to trade USD/JPY.
9 AM to 10 AM (SAST)
This overlap gives you trades with the highest margins of profitability. It’s unfortunately not as great as the other two overlaps.
2 PM to 7 PM (SAST)
This overlap is the busiest within the markets. The US dollar and the Euro are the most popular pair with which to trade. More than 70 percent of trades happen at this time. When London and the USA overlap, it becomes the best time to trade in South Africa. The market experiences high liquidity, having the most traders during this period with solid price moves.
Just because you’re in South Africa doesn’t mean you should trade South African Rand (ZAR) when the market is open.
Trade the Forex Market with Local South African Brokers
Daylight Savings Time (DST)
Forex trading hours vary during daylight savings time on various days. Daylight savings time gets observed in March/April and October/November. Japan does not follow daylight savings time.
Different seasons get experienced during other times, and it’s important to remember this when you’re trading during these periods. While Sydney moves forward with one hour, the United States will move back one hour to standard time.
Always be mindful of the seasons and different time zones during these periods, as it can affect your trades.
South Africa benefits from being in a time zone close to Europe. This allows you to take advantage of London’s market hours. The best hours to trade in South Africa are between 2 PM and 7 PM (SAST), as you will experience high volatility with the most substantial price moves.
Besides weekends, the JSE and other markets are closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day.
It’s important to note when the various markets open globally, and not just the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. You want to be mindful of when the highest volatility and liquidity get expected.
There’s always going to be a better time to trade than others, which depends on the currency pair you choose or your trading style.
Get a risk management strategy in place for the various forex market hours, and choose the times that work best for you.
Jason Morgan is an experienced forex analyst and writer with a deep understanding of the financial markets. With over 13+ years of industry experience, he has honed his skills in analyzing and forecasting currency movements, providing valuable insights to traders and investors.
Forex Content Writer | Market Analyst