Futures Trading Hours

Futures Trading Hours

5 min read

Do you know what Futures trading hours are? If you’ve been trading for any length of time, you know regular market hours are 9:30-4pm Monday-Friday. But what about Futures? Are their hours different from regular market hours? The answer is yes! Which makes Futures trading great for people who work full time.

Futures Trading Hours and the Best Hours to Trade

Futures trading hours will allow you to diversify your portfolio while gaining exposure to new markets.  If you are a day trader, then futures are a great option because you can trade at nearly any time of the day. Investors can trade over 70 futures products virtually 24 hours a day, six days a week. Each specific exchange has its opening and closing times. However, not all hours are optimal.

General Futures Trading Hours

Trading hours are in U.S. Central Time unless otherwise stated.

The general hours for the various exchanges of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) are as follows:

CME and CBT products submitted via CME ClearPort Clearing, the hours are: Sunday 5:00 p.m. – Friday 5:45 p.m. CST with no reporting Monday – Thursday 5:45 p.m.–6:00 p.m. CST

For CME OTC FX products submitted via CME ClearPort Clearing, the hours are Sunday 6:00 p.m. – Friday 5:45 p.m. CST with no reporting Monday – Thursday 5:45 p.m.–6:00 p.m. CST.

NYMEX and COMEX products submitted via CME ClearPort Clearing, the hours are: Sunday 5:00 p.m. – Friday 4:00 p.m. CST with no reporting Monday – Thursday 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. CST

When you are trading, you want to be in a position where there is more market volume and liquidity present. This leads to more opportunities to capitalize.

The great thing about futures is the ability to trade after hours. Make sure you can identify and trade evening star patterns. Candlesticks and patterns are super important. As a result, if you know how to find and trade them, you can trade Futures any time of day. And with success!

Futures Trading Hours TD Ameritrade

Futures Trading Hours TD Ameritrade.

Equity Indices

United States equity index futures trade around the clock, with a one-hour and fifteen-minute break each day.  Understanding the best equity means understanding two separate trading sessions. The morning overlap is session one, and the U.S. going into the close is session two.

Morning Overlap Session all CST:

  • 8:30 AM – the markets open for U.S. session trading
  • 10:30 AM – European equity markets closed for trading
  • 8:30 – 10:30 AM is the most liquid session and is called the U.S. and EUR “overlap.” this can extend to noon daily.
  • European traders will close their positions, forcing an increase in the volume

Afternoon Closing Session:

  • 1:00 PM – institutional/professional trading volume picks up
  • 3:00 PM – market on close orders are processed (MOCs), and the U.S. closes officially
  • 1:00 – 3:00 PM is the most liquid part of the afternoon as professional traders balance their books into the close, the last 20 minutes or so into 3:00 PM, the highest volume

Popular Futures Brokers

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Evening Trading Hours

For night owls, there is an evening session with decent volume and opportunity when the London session overlaps with the Asian session, from 1:00 AM. If news is out of Asian markets, such as China, volume will increase. If you’d like to know how to trade during evening Futures trading hours, please take our futures trading course.

Energy Indices

Energy has a similar overlap and closing pattern of high volatility. It’s important to understand how sectors and indices work, especially if you’re buying and selling during Futures hours.

Energy Overlap and US Closing:

  • CL opens its “pit session” at 8 AM CST
  • European trading closes at 10:30 AM CST
  • Most liquid, between 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM
  • Pit session closes at 1:30 PM CST; floor trading stops for the day
  • Best trading is the last hour between 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM CST when institution positions are closed

Futures Trading Hours Conclusion

Volume means more opportunity. Make sure to be in the market when it’s best. Therefore, keep that in mind with Futures trading hours. Never put too much at risk, and as always, we wish you the best of luck with your trades.

Frequently Asked Questions

Futures can be traded almost 24 hours per day. There are short pauses but traders can trade them any time, day or night. The most popular traded hours are 9:00am to 4 pm est. 

Dow futures trading hours are from 6 pm to 5 pm EST.

Futures may have a modified trading session on the day of the holiday. It's important to check the schedule and product that you're looking to trade.

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