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GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time, and it’s a time standard that was once used for civil timekeeping globally and is now often used as a reference point for various time zones around the world.
Forex brokerage firms around the world use different server times, and many of them refer to GMT to standardize their operating hours. This is important because traders need to know when different market sessions open and close, such as the Tokyo, London, and New York sessions.
For instance, a brokerage might state that their server time is “GMT+0,” which means that their server time is aligned with the Greenwich Mean Time. This provides a standardized reference for traders, allowing them to understand the brokerage’s server time in relation to the major forex market hours.
It’s worth noting that GMT is sometimes used interchangeably with UTC (Coordinated Universal Time), although there are subtle technical differences between the two. UTC is the modern successor to GMT and is the basis for civil time today.
However, in everyday usage and in the context of forex, the distinction between GMT and UTC is often overlooked.
In this article you will find:
- The best brokers whose trading platform is set to a GMT+0 time
- Forex brokers with EET time zone, CET time zone, and customizable user time offset to suit your needs.
What are the best GMT+0 forex brokers?
Keep in mind that even though some forex brokers allow you to change the time zone of the trading platform, this change only has a visual effect on the chart. It does not affect server time or rollovers.
Metatrader: how to check your forex broker server time
To check the server offset on MT4 and MT5, it is necessary to do the following:
Enable market watch: generally, the market watch is by default, but in case it has been turned off or is not present, you can turn it on by pressing CTRL+M or by going to “view” and clicking “market watch”. A window will appear on the left. At the top of it, there will be the server time:
The next step is to check the server time offset. So write down the server time next to the Market Watch (11:37 in this case). Go to time.is to check the UTC time (UTC time is the same as GMT+0). Then, check the delay with the trading platform. For instance, if the platform time was 11:37, the website says 9:37, it means the broker server offset is GMT+2
cTrader: how to check your forex broker server time
The cTrader platform shows traders directly what the server time is. The figure is at the bottom under the heading “server time”. In this case, the broker’s servers are in GMT+3.
If the server offset confuses you, you can change the user time offset of the trading platform which will change the times on the charts. This change won’t affect the server time or trading sessions.
Generally speaking, the platform time matches the user’s country time zone. For instance, if you are residing in the UK, the default platform time will be set to GMT+0 regardless of the server time offset of the broker. This means that the rollover fees and the chart candles are calculated based on server time and not on the platform time set by the user.
Why do forex brokers use different server times?
The server time offset generally depends on the location of the broker’s main office. Forex brokers generally use the following GMT offset:
- GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) = +0
- CET (Central European Time) = +1
- EET (Eastern European Time) = +2
Generally, brokers in the UK are GMT+0. In central Europe (Poland, Germany, etc.) brokers are GMT+1 (CET). Cyprus brokers are GMT+2 (in Cyprus they use EET).
To date, the most common brokers are EET brokers (GMT+2) both because most of them have offices in Cyprus, but more importantly, because being GMT+2 the forex market closing within the servers and platforms occurs exactly at midnight. In fact, the New York close (generally considered the close of the forex trading day) occurs at 10pm (GMT+0), but being GMT+2 servers, the close is at midnight.
What is the difference between UTC and GMT forex times?
UTC stands for “Universal Time Coordinated” while GMT stands for “Greenwich Mean Time”. UTC is a universal time that never changes. UTC is 10pm everywhere in the world. GMT, on the other hand, uses time zones to determine local time and it’s based on UK time. GMT+0 corresponds to UTC time. 10pm UTC, is also 10pm GMT+0.
|London Market Opening
|London Market Closing
For more information you can check out this article on Babypips, and our article on market hours in forex trading.
What is the best GMT server time to trade forex with?
GMT+0 brokers are better if you prefer to trade forex with a daily timeframe, or if you are a programmer and/or user of trading bots.
In all other cases, choosing a GMT+2 broker is often better because it allows you to end the day synchronized with the New York market closing.
If you trade with daily time frames, GMT+0 brokers present 5 candles per week. They are much more convenient because the chart is tidier, and it is easier to do technical analysis.
Trading bots are often backtested on GMT+0, as well as coded to start and stop at precise times calibrated to GMT+0 (London time). If the platform or the server run on a different time zone, it could create problems for the bot (e.g. late or early openings of trading positions, or inaccurate technical analysis due to the presence of a sixth candle in the chart).
There are 4 major forex markets in the world that open and close at different times. The last one of the day is the New York market which closes at 10pm UTC on weekdays and is closed on Saturday and sunday. With a GMT+2 broker, the server will touch midnight when the New York session closes.
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