Technical analysis is a method of predicting price movements and future market trends by studying charts of past market action. Technical analysis is concerned with what has happened in the market, rather than what should happen and takes into account the price of instruments and the volume of trading, and creates charts from that data to use as the primary tool. One major advantage of technical analysis is that experienced analysts can follow many markets and market instruments simultaneously.
Technical analysis is built on three essential principles:
1. Market action discounts everything! This means that the actual price is a reflection of everything that is known to the market that could affect it, for example, supply and demand, political factors and market sentiment. However, the pure technical analyst is only concerned with price movements, not with the reasons for any changes.
2. Prices move in trends Technical analysis is used to identify patterns of market behaviour that have long been recognized as significant. For many given patterns, there is a high probability that they will produce the expected results.
3. History repeats itself. Forex chart patterns have been recognized and categorized for over 100 years and the manner in which many patterns are repeated leads to the conclusion that human psychology changes little over time.
Candlestick bars still indicate the high-to-low range with a vertical line. However, in candlestick charting, the larger block in the middle indicates the range between the opening and closing prices. Traditionally, if the block in the middle is filled or coloured in, then the currency closed lower than it opened. In the following example, the ‘filled colour’ is black. For our ‘filled’ blocks, the top of the block is the opening price, and the bottom of the block is the closing price. If the closing price is higher than the opening price, then the block in the middle will be “white” or hollow or unfilled.
Support and resistance
A support level is level where the price tends to find support as it is going down. This means the price is more likely to “bounce” off this level rather than break through it. However, once the price has passed this level, by an amount exceeding some noise, it is likely to continue dropping until it finds another support level.
A resistance level is the opposite of a support level. It is where the price tends to find resistance as it is going up. This means the price is more likely to “bounce” off this level rather than break through it. However, once the price has passed this level, by an amount exceeding some noise, it is likely that it will continue rising until it finds another resistance level.
Double Top and Double Bottom
The double-top pattern is found at the peaks of an upward trend and is a clear signal that the preceding upward trend is weakening and that buyers are losing interest. Upon completion of this pattern, the trend is considered to be reversed and the security is expected to move lower.
The double bottom is formed when a downtrend sets a new low in the price movement. This downward move will find support, which prevents the security from moving lower. Upon finding support, the security will rally to a new high, which forms the security’s resistance point.
Remember that the security needs to break through the support line to signal a reversal in the downward trend and should be done on higher volume. As in the double top, do not be surprised if the price returns to the breakout point to test the new support level in the upward trend.
Triangles are some of the most well-known chart patterns used in technical analysis. The three types of triangles, which vary in construct and implication, are the symmetrical triangle, ascending and descending triangle. These chart patterns are considered to last anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months.
The ascending triangle is a bullish pattern, which gives an indication that the price of the security is headed higher upon completion. The pattern is formed by two trendlines: a flat trendline being a point of resistance and an ascending trendline acting as a price support.
The symmetrical triangle is mainly considered to be a continuation pattern that signals a period of consolidation in a trend followed by a resumption of the prior trend. It is formed by the convergence of a descending resistance line and an ascending support line. The two trendlines in the formation of this triangle should have a similar slope converging at a point known as the apex. The price of the security will bounce between these trendlines, towards the apex, and typically breakout in the direction of the prior trend.
The descending triangle is the opposite of the ascending triangle in that it gives a bearish signal to chartists, suggesting that the price will trend downward upon completion of the pattern. The descending triangle is constructed with a flat support line and a downward-sloping re