Gold is one of the most popular commodities for people to trade and there are numerous ways you can trade it these days. You may be wondering then what the gold trading hours are.
You will generally find gold available to trade with most brokers and now with the major trading apps. However, as a commodity it has slightly different trading hours to the stock market, so it’s important to know when you can trade it in case you need to exit any of your positions or see a good opportunity to enter a new position.
We’ll take a look at when you can trade gold below.
Different Ways to Trade Gold Markets
There are three principal ways to trade the gold markets: spot, futures and options trading and they each have a slightly different time zone for trading.
These forms of trading can be summarized as follows:-
- Spot trading – this is the most straightforward form of gold trading and involves just buying or selling gold at the current live price. Whether that’s gold itself in the form of bars, coins and ingots or an online deal in the same way as you would buy shares or other commodities online. Some brokers will offer spot gold trading – it is normal to do so in Europe but not usually in the US. For American traders to trade spot gold they may want to look at opening an account with a company abroad, presuming of course it is legal to do so for US citizens.
- Futures trading – this involves agreeing to pay a price today for gold to be delivered on a future specified date. For example if the price of gold was $1900 today, you could enter into a futures contract to take delivery of the gold in four months time. If the price at that point was $1950 you would have saved yourself $50 per ounce. However, in the vast majority of cases these days traders are not looking for the physical delivery of gold but merely a contract they can buy and sell online, aiming to profit from speculating. Again, most online brokers allow the buying and selling of gold futures contracts. In the UK this can be done via CFDs and spread betting.
- Options trading – gold options are another of way of speculating on the future price of gold. “Call options” provide the holder of the contract with the right to purchase gold at a pre-defined level before the contract reaches its expiration date, whereas “put options” provide the right to sell.
Gold Trading Hours
Okay so that’s a summary of the different ways to trade in gold. As mentioned, each of these methods tends to have its own timeframe for trading, although in reality they are all pretty similar.
It is also worth pointing out that different countries have their own gold trading hours, although again these tend to be fairly similar.
In general the times you can trade gold are as follows:-
- Spot trading: 2300 Sunday – 2200 Friday
- Futures trading: 2300 Sunday – 2200 Friday
- Options trading: 1000 Monday – 1800 Friday
If you are a regular forex trader you will note these times are fairly similar to the forex markets.
These times can vary by broker so it is a good idea to check your broker for precise timings but the above is general idea of when you can trade the various gold markets.
What is the Best Time to Trade Gold?
There is not a “best time” to trade gold as such; it is a very liquid market so tends to have tight spreads throughout the day – the bigger variations in spreads are likely to be between brokers.
Traditionally gold is seen as an asset to hold in times of economic distress. For example there was a significant increase in price after the financial crash of 2008 and then during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
However, this should not be taken as absolute and there have been times when gold has stayed relatively flat or even fallen during recessions. As always, markets are dynamic and do not tend to follow strict rules all the time.