There are many benefits of futures trading, including the ability to conduct transactions at almost any time of the day.
Despite the fact that futures markets are closed on the weekends, most contracts begin trading on Sunday afternoon in anticipation of the week ahead.
It’s important to remember that futures markets cover a variety of asset classes (more on this below). And with each asset class, there are different trading hours.
Generally speaking, most futures contracts begin trading on Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern time and close on Friday at 5 p.m. Eastern.
However, different asset classes have slightly different schedules. Here’s what you need to know:
- Equity futures: From Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern time to Friday at 4:15 p.m. Eastern.
- Energy and metals futures: From Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern time to Friday at 5:15 p.m. Eastern.
- Agriculture futures: From Sunday at 6 p.m. Eastern time to Friday at 4 p.m. Eastern.
Within each asset class, there may be additional hours that impact when you trade, as well as your strategy. For example, with agriculture futures, pork bellies and feeder cattle trading begins a bit earlier on Sunday, with a start time of 5:15 p.m.
Furthermore, many types of grains only trade for a couple of hours per day, typically from 8:15 until 10:30 in the morning Eastern time. If you miss this time slot, you have to wait until the next day.
As you get involved with futures trading, it’s important to have a sound understanding of when markets are open and closed. Without this, it’s a challenge to create a strategy that allows you to reach your goals.
Once you’re familiar with the trading hours that pertain to your particular interests, you can set a schedule that allows you to take the appropriate action at the best possible time.