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MASTERING THE CURRENCY MARKET PDF

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MASTERING the. CURRENCY MARKET This page intentionally left blank. MASTERING the. CURRENCY MARKET Forex Strategies for Highand Low- Volatility. Chapter 3: What Moves the Currency Market in the Long Term? Fundamental Analysis. Technical Analysis. Currency Forecasting—What. Make Volatility and Risk Work for You with Forex Trading! Mastering the Currency Market and millions of other books are available for Amazon Kindle.


Mastering The Currency Market Pdf

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indications that a pit trader, market-maker, specialist, or a top professional trader . In any business where there is money involved and profits to make, there are. [Download pdf] Mastering the Currency Market: Forex Strategies for High and Low Volatility. Markets. Mastering the Currency Market: Forex Strategies for High. Day trading and swing trading the currency market: technical and fundamental was published in , the foreign exchange market has changed dra-.

When you are viewing intraday forex charts, keep in mind that low-volume candles such as those between The hammer, which is also a doji, is considered a bullish candle.

A hammer is created after the market trades lower after the opening before moving higher and closing in the top third of the range. What has happened is that price probed lower during that period but found support as buying came into the market to propel it higher. The long shadow stands as evidence that lower prices were rejected. When it is seen in a downtrend, this behavior can be taken as indicative that the market is pausing or possibly trying to reverse.

The shooting star is also a doji and is similar to the hammer but is considered a bearish candle. When it comes 72 C a n d l e s t i c k C h a rt s after a rally or uptrend, it indicates that the market could be ready for a pause or a reversal.

The long wick and short body below it in Figure emphasize that the higher prices were rejected. Always remember that individual candles and candle formations do not necessarily predict what a market will do; that is, they do not always work out in favor of our position.

There is always a danger in looking at a short-term indication such as an individual candle that we may be missing something of importance in the big picture. Candle patterns play an important part in our analysis and trading and are especially useful when combined with other aspects of technical analysis.

We should never take a trade solely on the basis of an individual candle or bar or even chart pattern without considering additional factors, such as whether this price behavior came on support or resistance.

For forex markets, we discount candles and formations during low-volume, low-trade periods such as from lunchtime in New York to the Tokyo open, and we do not make any analytic or trading decisions until the candle is closed. Another candle that can be either one of these is a benchmark candle, which we will cover shortly. Note also the number of dojis and inside candles on the right.

A benchmark candle see Figure is an elongated engulfing candle with few or no wicks and leaves no doubt about who won out at the end of the candle, the bulls or the bears.

The term benchmark candle came from the trader and author John L. Person, president of www. What we will learn to appreciate about markets is that they have 75 Mastering the Currency Market a tendency to pull back in the opposite direction after a benchmark candle to retest the previous conviction. A rule of thumb is that if we see a retracement after a benchmark candle, we should look for it to stop halfway into the candle, giving us a 50 percent retracement, before resuming the direction set by the benchmark.

A benchmark Benchmark Candle Figure Benchmark Candle Followed by 50 Percent Retracement 76 C a n d l e s t i c k C h a rt s candle is a long candle with few or no wicks and leaves no doubt about the direction of the market. In this case the market sold off hard to close below the lows of the last eight candles, very likely clearing out plenty of long positions along the way.

There is no doubt that this is bearish behavior. Before the down move accelerated, however, note how the market went back and retraced 50 percent of the benchmark candle. The fact that benchmark candles have a tendency to do that is good information to have, because it will give you a chance to get in on the move or exit a position if a benchmark traps you while you are going the wrong way.

We have seen how the longer-term charts give us historical perspective on price direction and behavior and how individual candles and candle formations provide a good look at current price action and can help us in timing trades.

This is important information to have because just as people develop patterns or habits that we want to know about before interacting with them, so do markets. Figure is a minute chart of the mini Dow futures contract. Note the pattern of lower lows and lower highs. Now take a look at the right side of the chart and you will see how the market broke the previous cycle of lower lows by posting a couple of bullish change-of-direction candles in mid-July, followed by a higher high. The fact that a higher high on a closing basis followed the bullish change-ofdirection candles was a signal to exit any short trades.

In Figure we take a closer look at the same mini Dow futures contract as it starts to bottom out in mid-July That is a hint that perhaps the power of the sell-off is waning. We do get a shooting star doji, which is a topping candle, afterward, followed by a sell-off through the London 78 C a n d l e s t i c k C h a rt s Figure Collective Candle Behavior before Market Reversal session and the U. The 11, level did hold as the market reversed and launched a short-covering rally that carried the Dow to 11, by mid-August.

Over the course of this chapter you have seen how the collective behavior of the individual candles establishes and reinforces the direction for the trends on the charts for all time frames. The study of individual candles and candlestick formations in all time frames is an important aspect of trading and is well worth the time it takes to review their behavior on a regular basis.

Markets generally move up and down in a somewhat irregular manner and rarely reach the point to which they are heading in a straight line. A bear market moves lower and then pauses and tries to move up before running into resistance and turning lower again.

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Conversely, resistance is a level at which supply is abundant and buyers are scarce; competing sellers 81 Mastering the Currency Market Figure Horizontal Support and Resistance Levels mark down price quickly to entice the shrinking pool of buyers. Typically, whenever we see an isolated high point or low point on a chart, we know that it is at that point that demand overpowered supply or supply overwhelmed demand.

Support and resistance levels are drawn horizontally on the chart and mark isolated high and low points. The level may hold, or the market may move right through it. For this reason, we say that support and resistance levels are estimated; we have no guarantee that they will hold under live market conditions. A market is said to have broken a level of resistance or support if a candle closes beyond that level. This is what makes the closing price of a candle so important.

Trendlines One of the tenets of technical analysis is that prices trend. Trendlines are made by connecting two or more points of support or resistance. A downtrend means a series of price bars or candles exhibiting lower highs, lower lows, and lower closes; 83 Mastering the Currency Market conversely, an uptrend means higher lows, higher highs, and higher closes.

We draw support or up trendlines by drawing a straight line connecting the higher lows and extending it into the future. We draw resistance or down trendlines by drawing a straight line connecting the lower highs and extending it into the future.

Trendlines are a favorite tool among traders for a very good reason: Markets respect them. Uptrends, or bull trendlines, act as areas of support. Downtrends, or bear trendlines, act as levels of resistance. Trendlines have to be updated as the market moves through time, and they can be used for Figure Support Line Connecting Isolated Lows 84 S u p p o rt a n d R e s i s ta n c e Figure Resistance Lines Connecting Isolated Highs both trading and forecasting.

In drawing trendlines on candlestick charts, we also have the option of drawing them from the highs and lows of the wicks or from the highs and lows of the bodies. This price breakdown was followed by penetration of the long-term bull trendline, and a major sell-off followed. We also can see that just above the Conversely, when prices went below Next, we examine a weekly chart of the same market extending back a little more than two years. Once again demand dries up on the rally as buyers drop their bids and sellers move prices down quickly to unload inventory.

Once prices pull back in May and again in June, we see the importance of the horizontal support level drawn from the January lows. It becomes clear that we are in a long-term uptrend and that buying support is rewarded as the British pound continues to have demand at the As is always the case Figure Support and Resistance Levels on a Weekly Chart 87 Mastering the Currency Market in trading, this information is twofold as the bounces off Figure shows a weekly chart of the U.

The more experience you gain as a trader, the more respect you will develop for the long-term trend. Stock Market Chart 88 S u p p o rt a n d R e s i s ta n c e long-term trendlines is a twofold process: You respect them when they hold up and recognize that a big move may be in the making when they do not hold up and the market settles through them. As you can see from the chart in Figure , charts and trendlines are not just for traders.

Short-Term, Intermediate-Term, and Long-Term Trendlines In doing trendline analysis, we need to understand that just as there are long-term, intermediate-term, and short-term trends Figure Long-Term, Intermediate-Term, and Short-Term Trendlines 89 Mastering the Currency Market simultaneously unfolding in a market, there are long-term, intermediate-term, and short-term trendlines. This is the case because as a trend extends itself, its angle, or slope, may increase or decrease as the market adjusts to the supply available for sale and the demand from buyers.

This is a good example of how markets trend and serves as a reminder of why we need to keep trendlines updated. It also shows another aspect of trendlines, which is that not only do they serve as support or resistance, they also serve as attractors.

Note what happens when the angle, or slope, between price and the trendline becomes steeper as the market moves lower. Similar to a mean reverting mechanism, the farther the slope increases, the more likely it becomes that price will react back toward the trendline. The slope can act as a rubber band that when stretched too far snaps back, taking the price the other way. These snapbacks, or retracements, are to be expected. Once price does rally back on the USDCHF minute chart, then falters, and then resumes the previous long-term downtrend or resumes its path of least resistance, we draw a new trendline.

The process of price motion based on supply, demand, and the emotions of market 90 S u p p o rt a n d R e s i s ta n c e participants plays out again in a cycle of lower highs and lower lows until eventually it shifts to a pattern of higher lows and then higher highs. The daily chart in Figure shows another example of a market that corrects only after sharp sell-offs, leaving us to update the new bear trendlines it creates.

Notice how every time the market increases its speed, angles away from the oldest or longest trendline, and goes vertical on the chart, it sets itself up to give us a snapback correction, or a countertrend rally back toward the older or longer-term trendline. Figure Price Corrections after Trendline Violations 91 Mastering the Currency Market Once the market makes a countertrend move and then reverts lower, we draw a new, shorter-term trendline.

These newer trendlines are going to help us understand the when of the next price correction. When we see price angling away from the new trendline as it accelerates, we should understand that in terms of time, that market is getting closer to a countertrend correction.

Think of a correction as a car traveling at a high speed that needs to slow down before making a turn. A similar dynamic is at work with markets, and the trendlines generally tell us when that resting point occurs or where that turn is. Each new trendline becomes steeper, leading us closer to the correction.

By using the EURUSD minute chart shown in Figure , we can take a closer look at price behavior by marking the previous daily lows and highs. By marking both the previous highs and lows and the isolated highs and lows used to draw the trendlines, we generate 92 S u p p o rt a n d R e s i s ta n c e Figure Daily Highs and Lows and Trendlines Help Distinguish Directional Shifts a simple visual that shows when this market shifted from lower highs and lower lows to higher lows and higher highs.

This illustration makes the point that although the trendlines are important, it is the previous highs and lows that we take as the measurements and draw the lines from that help us determine direction. Marking these previous highs and lows is also a valuable habit when it comes to operating in markets in which an uptrend or downtrend is not so clear. The tendency of price to increase the slope of its path of least resistance over time, which we talked about before, and the tendency of that behavior to hasten corrections also can help alert us to the possibility of snapback moves or countertrend price behavior.

We know that support and resistance levels mark key price levels at which either the buyers or the sellers were proved right decisively. A support level marks a clear-cut level below where the market is trading where demand, or buying, absorbed the selling pressure through more aggressive bidding.

It can be said that demand at that level was strong enough to prevent lower prices. Resistance, in contrast, is a clear-cut level above the market where supply, or sellers, intimidated buyers into backing off to establish dominance. It can be said that supply at that point overwhelmed demand and that prices at that higher level were Figure Horizontal Support and Resistance Create a Sideways Channel 94 S u p p o rt a n d R e s i s ta n c e unsustainable.

Figure shows a commonly seen situation. More often than not a trading range proves to be a price pause before resumption in the same direction in which the market was moving before entering the range. This occurs because markets tend to trend more than they reverse. Trendlines can be horizontal or angular and connect to at least two price points, with the third point adding validity.

Another principle of technical analysis is that resistance can turn into support levels and vice versa. Figure 96 S u p p o rt a n d R e s i s ta n c e Figure Resistance Lines Turn into Support Levels shows a pair of trendlines that gave way; they did not hold as resistance but remained in place and gave us support on the retest.

This highlights why we always have to update our trendlines and also leave the trendlines in place as they will aid us in spotting trend reversals, which often are marked by support turning into resistance and vice versa. It is very important to see how price reacts to support and resistance levels before acting on them. We do this by waiting for an individual candle to close and then updating our trendlines if necessary before committing to a direction or trade, as shown in Figure We do this to let the market gauge the strength or weakness of the support or resistance level.

We always trade from the perspective that we do not know 97 Mastering the Currency Market whether the level will hold. We do not try to guess whether the level will hold; we stay patient and let the market tell us if it is respecting the potential support or resistance. This prompted us to update our trendline and watch as the market made another move down before turning up on May 22, This is why it is so important to Figure Wait for Candle to Close above the Trendline 98 S u p p o rt a n d R e s i s ta n c e wait for the close of the candle before entering a trade.

Trendlines are very useful for pointing out direction. You may have an extra minute or two to analyze a countertrend trigger, but with a trend trigger, you are not going to have that extra blink to think about it; if you wait, you will miss the bus.

The USDCHF minute chart in Figure provides a good example of a buy signal in an uptrend in which if we had waited for the market to give us a trendline test, we would have missed out on a nice trade. We use trendlines to remind us of the overall direction of the trend just as much as we use them to show support or resistance.

It is very important to have your trendlines in place on the chart before starting to trade because if you are trading on a short-term basis, you need to concentrate on execution, not analysis. With your support levels in place, there is no thinking or questioning whether you are trading with the trend or counter to it.

We know that just as there are longterm trends and short-term trends, there are trendlines on different time frames. Here is the formula for the different levels: We also can calculate quarterly, yearly, presidential cycle, and even decade pivots.

Many professional traders follow the shorter-term pivots, and that is why they tend to work so well: We view the central pivot point as support or resistance, depending on the side price opens and Mastering the Currency Market Figure Weekly Pivot Points on a Minute Chart then trades on. Price below the central pivot can be seen as market weakness; similarly, price above the central pivot can be viewed as market strength. Pivot levels can work particularly well when there are no scheduled news releases or unexpected fundamental developments, leaving the market to bracket back and forth between the pivots.

In an uptrend price often tends to respect the central pivot or S1 as support and R2 as resistance, whereas in a downtrend price tends to respect the central pivot or R1 as resistance and S2 as support. Pivots points, like trendlines, are potential support and resistance S u p p o rt a n d R e s i s ta n c e levels. Note the difference from the previous example in that the pivots change monthly. Clearly, the GBPUSD has a strong tendency to respect its monthly pivots, as we see how the central pivot provided resistance in February before providing support in March.

Then we see the central pivot again provide resistance in April and again in late May, whereas S2 provides support in May and S1 provides support in June. Note also that in nearly every month on the chart the central pivot played a key role in helping us gauge underlying strength and weakness. We can see the sideways back-and-forth action, which technically shows up as the market generally staying within S1 and R1.

This example highlights the fact that pivots adjust from one month to the next. This is a characteristic that is conducive to both trend trading and countertrend trading. The farther the market travels in one direction in one month, the more the pivots expand to accommodate that direction in the next month. Traders appreciate that because it supports the cardinal rule of trend trading: Notice how in April, after a sharp sell-off in February and March, the market found support on its daily central pivot, which is an indication of underlying strength.

A sharp rally followed at the end of April, and after a sell-off in May, support again was found at the daily central pivot. In June and July probes lower were stopped at pivot support 1, as the market put in a second higher low after the overall low of the move it put in during mid-March. Higher lows and a market trading above its central pivot are an indication of strength that could be signaling that the overall bear move in this market is pausing or even reversing. Figures , , and are daily charts in various trending stages, with the monthly pivots overlaid for us to study.

In technical analysis there is no such thing as a good or bad chart to study. There are lessons in all charts covering all time frames. Also, you should start to notice when a market fails to reach a particular level and consider what that is telling you in regard to underlying strength and weakness.

We will discuss the concept of buying strength and selling weakness in Chapter 8. On this minute USDJPY chart we see that the market failed to clear R1 three times and then fell quickly and sliced through its weekly central pivot on July 11, which was a clear warning sign. It struggled to get back above that central pivot the next week, Figure Weekly Pivot Points on a Minute USDJPY Chart S u p p o rt a n d R e s i s ta n c e giving traders a chance to exit longs or initiate shorts, before falling sharply again.

After falling too far too fast without even pausing at S1, the market made a complete recovery ahead of the weekend.

The next week it started to sell off again early in the week of July 20, only to retest that weekly central pivot, which held, before moving ahead to post a higher high. Figure shows a session in which the market opens above the daily central pivot. We also can see on the far left that on the previous day the British pound challenged R2, which indicates a strong market.

For the session on May 21 we see the market trade down to test the central pivot and then give us a bit of a bounce to tell us it respects the pivot, followed by a retest with an actual close below it, before a change-of-direction candle and a close above the central pivot, followed by a nice rally.

In Figure we see that the market opens below the weekly central pivot for the week of May 12, After it bottomed just below pivot S1, we see the market start to consolidate above that support level. After trading sideways to slightly higher, it clears a bear trendline angling down from a previous high on May 6, , and we get a nice rally or short-covering correction.

The market touches the central pivot one more time just below On opening the next week the market is situated above the new central pivot. Then we see the market rally up and close above the central pivot on May 20, which is a buy signal. Then we see what happens next as the market wastes little time in rallying up to test pivot R1 on May 20 just below Note how a trader would have been rewarded for buying S1 and holding till R2.

This tendency happens often in a long-term bull market. There are times when a market will not respect the parameters it lays out for itself, as is demonstrated in Figure If the market is not respecting a level, we should not do that either. The fact that the market cannot give us a bounce off the pivot is showing us that it does not respect that level.

At that point, if the market is not respecting that level, we should not respect it either. We also can see that just above the market there is a bear trendline, which is probably why at this time the market is not concerned with possible support at that pivot. We see what price does once it closes below the central pivot, which is sell off steadily. A note on that bear trendline above the market: If you are position trading by using the daily chart for entry and exits, you are concerned with only the monthly pivots.

For trading between a minute and a minute time frame, you follow the weekly pivots, and for day trading, you use the daily pivots. Earlier we saw how important previous highs and lows are in creating trendlines and how helpful trendlines are in identifying both long-term and shorter-term trends and support and Mastering the Currency Market resistance levels.

We also see how pivots are a trend-following tool in that they expand and contract on the basis of previous market behavior. Next we will look at Fibonacci retracements and extensions to see how they can help us in both trending and countertrending markets.

A retracement is a countertrend reaction that retraces a trend. An extension is an impulsive action that continues a trend.

Fibonacci retracements and extensions appear in much more than trading charts and have a strong following among analysts and high-level traders because of their prevalence and repetition in the marketplace.

The famed market analyst R. Here we will focus on Fibonacci retracements and extensions in height, not time.

Fibonacci retracements are both a countertrend tool and a trend tool in that they give the trader a potential level for a market retracement to stop at, turn, and resume the overall trend. Fibonacci extensions are a forecasting tool as they take a market move and project into the future a likely area the market will travel to, based on its previous tendencies and on Fibonacci numbers.

Without a doubt these retracement and extension ratios named after the twelfth-century Italian mathematician are impressive to both analysts and traders. This means that the level it stops at does not matter as much as does the behavior afterward. Most analysts and traders use 0. We measure from bottom to top and mark off the 50 percent and 0.

For example, a 0. This type of predictability, however, generally is found only in very liquid—that is, very heavily traded—securities, currencies, and commodities.

Figure shows the intersection of a 0. Also note the sizable change-of-direction candle that kicked off the up move. Figure shows the same day we just examined, but on the next lower time frame. Here we again see a change-ofdirection candle, this time on the minute chart. Although Fibonacci retracements are more of a countertrend tool in that they measure primarily corrective price behavior, Fibonacci extensions are a trending tool because they are Figure Intersection of Bull Trendline and 0.

An extension would be taken by observing a market move followed by a retracement, measuring the original move, and then taking the same height and extrapolating it up or down from the depth or height of the retracement back in the direction of the longer-term trend by a multiple of 0.

To simplify it, we often are looking for a move to repeat itself, or extend percent of itself. This means that if a stock went from 1 to 2 and then back to 1. We also get a third leg down in February-March, which happens to bottom just below the 1. Extensions are often effective, just as retracements and other support and resistance levels are, because traders know about them and heed them. This is a classic case of market symmetry.

Note the pattern of higher lows and then the two equal lows in May, which would also be called a double bottom. A double bottom is a classic chart formation that will be covered in the next part of this book.

This is a very interesting chart. Studying charts like this during off-market hours in a relaxed environment is great experience for market students.

Figure A In this case the market pulls up short of the percent extension in early October and proceeds to move sideways for much of the month before slipping higher toward the end of the month.

We have seen how important support and resistance levels are to markets and traders. We see support and resistance in the form of previous daily highs and lows and the trendlines created by them, pivot points on all time frames, and retracement and extension levels. Whether we know it or not, pattern-recognition skills play a big part in our lives and those of the people around us.

The candle pattern gives us the length of a price movement, and the volume tells us the size of the participation rate. If a breakout, or penetration of an important price level, occurs on rising volume, it is considered more viable; if it occurs Mastering the Currency Market on light volume, a continuation in the direction of the breakout is considered less likely.

Although stocks and futures have actual volume indicators available, most platforms for forex markets do not. Some chart packages, however, have tick volume on their intraday forex charts that mimics futures volume and is considered a viable indicator.

On some chart packages the volume histogram can be colored; depending on whether the accompanying bar or candle was higher or lower; a green volume histogram would indicate that the candle closed higher than the open and a red volume histogram would indicate that it closed lower. Like the trendlines and the support and resistance points that create them, chart patterns provide a concise picture of buyer and seller participation.

Chart patterns give us an unbiased look at the pricing results of the demand bid for and the supply offered in a market, and volume tells us how much product or money actually changed hands. Technical analysis is an art in which the chart is the canvas, support and resistance lines are the brushstrokes, and patterns or formations are the picture.

For our study these patterns can be broken down into two groups: Continuation patterns tell us the market probably is pausing, or is in a temporary holding pattern before a resumption of the previous trend. Reversal patterns tell us a trend may be ending and alert us to a potential reversal in direction. Reversal patterns can be broken down into the two subcategories of topping and bottoming patterns.

We will be covering the following price patterns: A price pattern or formation should jump out at you to be considered valid.

It must be obvious to you and other traders for it to be effective. Formations are created from trendlines, and so the same nuances we learned about trendlines—it takes only two points to draw them, and support can become resistance and vice versa—apply to price patterns. It is the nature of markets to trend more than they reverse. We refer to these as continuation patterns, but there is Mastering the Currency Market no assurance that they will in fact mark consolidation moves until they actually do so.

Continuation Patterns Flags Flags, or pennants as some analysts call them, are short-term continuation patterns that are created when a trending market encounters support or resistance in the form of demand or supply and price pauses and retraces or goes sideways— i.

Note also how the impulse moves, or rallies, are very similar to one another in height and distance. This symmetry is common in chart formations. We then get a hammer on the downside target price objective. As quickly as the July price break came, it was over in August, and for all the economic drama the 1,point sell-off brought, we were left with a simple symmetrical C h a rt Pat t e r n s Figure Textbook Bear Flag in U.

Note how the tick volume increased on each individual down bar, followed by volume clusters before the price collapse. In markets we often see an orderly price move to establish direction, then acceleration on increasing volume, followed by a dramatic sell-off.

The price objective once the channel is broken is the same as the height of the channel, as can be seen in Figure Note how we are seeing the same tendencies in price behavior and price objective over and over in each example.

In our experience technical analysis is less complicated than people seem to want to make it. This formation reminds us of the importance of waiting for a close outside the resistance before committing to a trade. Triangles A symmetrical triangle is a little more complex than the other continuation patterns. The pattern requires at least two lower Mastering the Currency Market Figure Sideways Pause before Resumption of Move highs and higher lows within the triangle and usually shows three, and it tends to break out of the formation in the same direction in which it was traveling when it created the base.

As in any breakout, we must wait for the candle to close outside the formation. There are two different ways to measure the price objective. The other way to determine the objective is to take C h a rt Pat t e r n s Figure Symmetrical Triangle with the Objective Reached the support or resistance line from which the price broke away—the dominant trendline—and copy or extend it from the base.

Both of these measurements give us the same approximate time and price point in July We now understand what makes a continuation pattern what it is—price will look to continue in the direction it was moving in before pausing in a pattern—but we also must always remind ourselves that there are times when markets reverse and what starts out looking like a continuation pattern will turn into a reversal pattern. This is why experienced traders always wait for a close above or below the Mastering the Currency Market appropriate support or resistance level before committing to a trade.

Two more continuation patterns are the ascending triangle and the descending triangle. The ascending triangle is a bullish formation that more often than not marks a price pause, or consolidation phase, but it can come at the end of a down move and mark a reversal. Wherever they occur on the chart or in the trend, ascending triangles are marked by a horizontal resistance line on top and an angled support line below moving from left to right and connecting higher lows.

The rising formation indicates accumulation. The hallmark of this formation is its right-angle appearance; it must have at least two high points at the approximate same level and at least two low points, with the most recent being higher than the previous one. As in all technical breakouts, volume should be increasing if there is to be an expected followthrough of the move.

The price objective of the formation can be calculated by measuring the base of the triangle and extrapolating that distance from the breakout point. A descending triangle is a bearish formation that, like an ascending triangle, is more often a continuation pattern, but it Figure Descending Triangle Mastering the Currency Market also can be a reversal pattern.

It is a right-angle triangle with at least two low points at approximately the same price level and at least two high points, with the most recent being lower than the previous one.

The price objective of the formation can be calculated by measuring the height of the base of the triangle and taking that measurement and extending it down from the breakout point. Figure shows a descending triangle on the USDCHF weekly chart in that lasted for over a year and a half. Cup and Handle The cup and handle Figure is a bullish continuation pattern that is named for its resemblance to a teacup with a handle. The depth of the cup generally will not retrace more than half the previous advance, ideally less.

There also has to be a marked increase in volume after the price advance from the handle. The minimum price objective of the breakout is equal to the distance from the bottom of the cup to the top of the handle. Let us remind you again that a chart formation should pop out at you when you glance at the chart. As a rule of thumb, the more obvious the formation is, the more likely it is that it will play out and its price objective will be achieved. A word of caution is due in addressing reversal patterns, particularly on longterm charts, because they occur less often.

There is something in human nature that makes us feel we need to change things for the better. Experienced traders know better and are more interested in going along with the market, which means trading through more continuation patterns than reversal patterns. It is best to understand this human tendency to change things at the very beginning of Mastering the Currency Market a trading career. Reversal Patterns Double Top and Double Bottom Double tops and double bottoms are reversal patterns that occur when and where a price meets support or resistance once and then backs off and attempts a second breach before failing and retreating.

A double bottom is a reversal formation marked by two legs at roughly the same price level with a small up move in between on low volume. This bottoming pattern generally occurs at the end of a sustained down move. Volume generally should increase once price closes above the breakout point for the price to move higher and achieve its objective.

The price objective for the formation is an up move equal to the height from the lowest leg to the highest point between the legs.

A double bottom creates a strong support level. Figure shows the symmetry created by a double bottom in USDCAD in as price reached its objective and conformed around that level. A double top is a powerful reversal pattern that can occur at the end of a sustained up move and signal an intermediate-term or even long-term change in the previous trend.

The downside price objective of this formation is the same as the distance between the highest high and the low between the peaks when extrapolated down from that breakout point. As with all reversal patterns, we need to see volume increasing from the point of the breakout to gauge the legitimacy of the coming move. The higher the volume is, the more likely it is that the breakout will continue. Figure shows a classic double top in the U.

S stock market in May They can resemble other patterns such as double bottoms or tops or descending or ascending triangles, but as with all formations, a trader should consider them neutral until a breakout comes. Triple bottoms are created after an extended down move when there are three roughly equal low legs in a market before a rally is mounted from the third leg that shows enough strength to break above the tops of the previous up moves and C h a rt Pat t e r n s reverse the course of the market from down to up.

The price objective for this reversal pattern is the same as the height from the lowest low to the highest point between the lows before the breakout; it is identical to the measured price objective of a double bottom. Similarly, the breakout has to occur on higher than usual volume for a trader to expect follow-through. As in most technical formations, there is always the likelihood that after the breakout price will pull back one more time to retest the area and resistance will turn into support.

Figure shows a triple bottom in EURUSD in in which after the breakout the market came back to retest the last high between Figure Triple Bottom Mastering the Currency Market the second and third lows a month later before turning higher for good to kick off a major rally.

Triple tops are created after an extended up move when there are three roughly equal high points or peaks in a market before a major sell-off is mounted from the third peak that shows enough strength to break below the lows of the down moves between the peaks and reverses the course of the market from up to down, or from bull to bear.

The price objective for this reversal pattern is the same as the height from the highest high to the lowest point between the peaks before the breakout; this is identical to the measured price objective of a double top. Similarly, Figure Triple Top C h a rt Pat t e r n s the breakout has to occur on higher than usual volume for a trader to expect follow-through. This reminds us that charting is an art. Once we get the second breakout, the market, true to the characteristic it just showed, comes back one more time to retest the breakout in late April before falling off for good.

Head and Shoulders Tops and Bottoms Similar to triple bottoms and tops, head and shoulders bottoms and tops are long-term reversal patterns or formations that come at the end of extended market moves and indicate a change in direction for the primary trend for that period. Once a potential head is in place, volume starts to pick up as experienced traders begin to buy the market to close out existing short positions.

We now have the left shoulder and the head in place while Mastering the Currency Market the chart still is showing an existing down move in place, although with lower volume on the last leg down. Once this small rally runs its course, there is one more run down on light volume, which stalls out before testing the lowest low in place.

The breakout level for this formation is called the neckline and can be drawn by connecting the highs put in before the creation of the left shoulder and connecting that trendline to the high created after the creation of the head. Increasing volume, or a higher trader participation rate, plays a key role in the actual breakout stage from the neckline of the formation, as it does in all reversing patterns.

In Figure we see a head and shoulders formation in the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures market on a minute chart in August that tips us off that the current down move in this time frame has run its course. There are two ways to measure the price objective of this formation.

The second is to take the same distance from the low point of the head to the neckline and extrapolate that up from the highest point on the neckline. In the case of a horizontal neckline these two would be the same; however, when there is an angled neckline, we would have two objectives, with one being higher than the other.

The same points used in describing the head and shoulders bottom apply to the top. It is important to understand the order of operation of the formation as it evolves from an uptrend, or bull market, to a downtrend, or bear market. The market will go through subtle changes as we see volume go from increasing on the rallies and decreasing on the reactions to decreasing on the rallies and increasing on the Mastering the Currency Market sell-offs or price breaks.

It is this dynamic occurrence, or behavioral change, that experienced traders can see. Head and shoulders formations are great times to notice these subtle changes in price behavior because, like triple tops and triple bottoms, they take time to play out, giving us time to observe and understand the changing dynamics. We can see from the volume pattern on the chart how trader participation dried up for the last leg up to create the head and then picked up as the market sold off in November.

By the time price penetrated the neckline, there was little doubt about who was in control of this market from the price action and volume: After a climactic sell-off in January, the market snapped back and retested the original breakout area.

Rising and Falling Wedges A rising wedge is a bearish formation that usually is seen as a reversal pattern but also can be a continuation pattern. Here we will focus on reversal patterns. A rising wedge can be seen on the charts as an up move with a wide shape that gradually narrows as it rises, giving it a cone shape. It can be tricky to identify as being bearish because it exhibits the higher lows and higher highs that are the hallmark of an uptrend.

What helps us identify it as a reversal formation is the decreasing volume on each successive rally. Regardless of whether we see it as a bearish development, by following basic trendline analysis we will be able to see when the formation breaks out, or down, by the way it penetrates the support line that helps identify it. Figure shows a rising wedge on the weekly USDCAD chart that built up through the second half of and culminated with a major reversal in early A falling wedge is a bullish formation that usually is seen as a reversal pattern but also can be a continuation pattern.

It can be seen on the Mastering the Currency Market Figure Rising Wedge charts as a down move with a wide shape that gradually narrows as it falls, giving it a cone shape. Like a rising wedge, it can be tricky to identify as being bullish because of the lower highs and lower lows. Again, what helps us identify it as a reversal formation is the decreasing volume on each successive sell-off.

By following trendline analysis, we should be able to identify the breakout or point of reversal when it penetrates the resistance line that borders its upper range.

There is no way to project a price objective for this formation. Figure shows a falling wedge on a weekly EURJPY chart C h a rt Pat t e r n s Figure Falling Wedge that culminates with a double bottom in the fourth quarter of just before a powerful reversal and rally. When taken in the context of the candlestick charts, support and resistance levels, and trendlines we have studied, the prospect of forecasting market movement should start to seem like a very real possibility.

Knowing that we are likely to see price continuation patterns more often than actual price reversal Mastering the Currency Market patterns should give us an edge over less educated analysts and traders.

In summary, we can say that basic price patterns and volume indicators are essential in the study of technical analysis and will bring us closer to melding market analysis with our intuition. In this section we will cover only those indicators which are derived from price. Each type of indicator has a different formula and varies in its degree of sophistication. It is believed by most experienced money managers and traders that the simplest formulas often lead to the most successful trading.

Previous and current price behaviors are generally the only determinants in technical analysis. For the sake of analysis, however, technical indicators can be divided into two types: A leading indicator gives us an indication or signal before an actual price reversal; a lagging indicator gives us an indication or signal after a new trend has started. In contrast, with a lagging indicator we wait for behavior that indicates that a reversal has occurred, and that new trend is already under way before we commit to a trade.

Most leading indicators measure momentum, or the degree of the slope of a current price movement—i. A market can be making lower lows and lower highs and be in an obvious downtrend, but if the rate of its descent is slowing and we have a position that is going with the trend, we may want to pay closer attention to price.

Similarly, if the rate of acceleration is increasing in our favor, we would be more inclined to maintain our position. Indicators based on previous price action cannot alert us to a change of direction until after the market has experienced it.

An advantage of this is that we are inclined to stay with positions longer. Two of the main reasons for this are emotions, generally nervousness, and leading indicators. Trend traders need to be comfortable with lagging indicators. Lagging Indicators Moving Averages and Crosses: A simple moving average SMA is a chart overlay that provides a smoothed average of the closing prices or opening prices for a particular period.

As each candle is completed on the chart, a new average point is plotted so that over time the average moves forward, following price. The shorter-term the time frame covered by the moving average is, the more sensitive the moving average becomes and the choppier the line becomes. The longer-term the moving average is, the more Figure Five-Period Simple Moving Average T e c h n i c a l I n d i c at o r s desensitized it becomes and the smoother the line becomes.

The moving average is used to smooth out actual price action in an effort to make the trend easier to spot. When price is trading above the moving average points, the trend is said to be higher, whereas price trading below the moving average indicates that the trend is lower.

Some analysts use longer-term moving averages such as period and period averages as support or resistance. Longer-term averages also are used to generate signals in several ways.

If the close is above or below a particular moving average, a buy or sell signal may be generated. When the shorter-term average crosses below the longerterm one, it is a sell signal and the trend is presumed to be down; similarly, when the shorter-term average crosses above the longer-term one, it is a buy signal and the trend is said to be up.

Similarly, if price is above the moving averages, the trend is said to be up, and if price is below the moving averages, it is down. Such long-term averages are not sensitive and will keep you in a trade for an extended period; that can be trying, as was the case in March through May when the market rallied but rewarding from mid-May till mid-July as the market fell off and made a new low for the year. Professionals tend to use day and day SMAs when they are analyzing or trading securities.

The exponential moving average EMA is a moving average overlay that puts more weight on the most recent closing prices to make it more responsive to newer incoming price data. Currency traders often use period and period exponential moving averages simultaneously for their longterm charts, considering a crossover of the two averages an important signal. When the shorter-term average crosses below the longer-term one, it is a sell signal and the trend is presumed to be down; when the shorter-term average crosses above the longer-term one, it is a buy signal and the trend is said to be up.

Similarly, when price is above the moving averages, the T e c h n i c a l I n d i c at o r s trend is considered up, and when price is below the moving averages, the trend is considered down. It is important to understand that it is at the beginning of trend changes that corrections and price swings tend to be at their biggest, making the longer-term averages and crosses more analytic tools than trading tools for more experienced traders.

Long-term exponential moving averages also are used as support or resistance levels. Another way moving averages can prove useful is by acting as support or resistance levels once a trend is established, as can be seen in Figure when the moving averages provide resistance in August and September A drawback of moving averages is that they can distract a trader from focusing on simple isolated highs and lows and trendlines, which give a trader excellent information in a timely manner.

Oscillators An oscillator is a set of data that moves back and forth, or oscillates, between two points. By developing MACD, a derivative of moving averages, Gerald Appel gave us a hybrid tool that is helpful in determining present direction and measures momentum the rate of change in price.

Although it may look very similar to a moving average, the MACD is actually a tool that shows the divergence of two T e c h n i c a l I n d i c at o r s moving averages. The parameters of the MACD are expressed as follows: The change of two moving averages either closer to or farther away from each other has predictive value.

As the moving averages approach each other in value, a potential crossover may be forming, meaning that the momentum of the current trend is slowing and the market may be getting ready to change trend direction. Similarly, as a trend strengthens, the moving averages grow farther apart, indicating an increase in momentum. Note that there is both a linear component and a histogram component shown as a series of vertical bars.

The black line represents the MACD, which is the average of the differences between two moving averages. The heavy line is the fastest-moving component.

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The lighter line is an average of the MACD over nine periods, and it is a slowermoving component. The two lines move closer to and farther away from each other over time, and occasionally they cross. The histogram shows the variation in the distance between the fast-moving and slow-moving components and makes Mastering the Currency Market Figure Construction of the MACD crossovers easier to visualize.

The trigger line and the histogram components were added later by Thomas Aspray. The MACD histogram measures momentum. When the bars on the histogram are moving away from zero, that is interpreted as positive momentum; when they are moving toward the zero line, momentum is decreasing. Positive momentum indicates that the current trend is strengthening, and negative momentum indicates that it is weakening.

The black line of the MACD moving below the zero line coincides with the period average moving below the period average, both of which are sell signals. The black line of the MACD moving above the zero line generates a buy signal. It is this zero line cross that represents an important indication, as we can see from the direction GBPUSD took after these signals in and When the MACD is below its trigger line, it supports a short position; when it is above the trigger line, it supports a long position.

The MACD crossing its trigger line can be useful for identifying price extremes and can be used to exit trend trades and enter countertrend trades.

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Combined with the oscillator function, a crossover of the two lines in proximity to the zero line Mastering the Currency Market Figure MACD Trigger Line Cross Figure Trigger Line Cross as Trend and CounterTrend T e c h n i c a l I n d i c at o r s provides additional information about whether a trigger is in the direction of the current trend. A black line cross below the gray line that occurs below the zero line would indicate a sell signal in the direction of the predominant trend, whereas a black line cross above the gray line below the zero line would be a countertrend buy signal.

When there is a black line cross above the gray line above zero, it is a trend buy signal; a black line cross below the gray line above zero is a countertrend sell signal.

MACD Histogram The rate of change between the two lines the MACD and the trigger line also provides an indication of the strength of a move and is represented by the vertical bars, or histograms, that populate the centerline of the indicator. If the distance between the two lines is increasing, the move under way is considered strong and the histogram will be marked by successively higher bars; if the distance between the two lines is decreasing, the momentum of the move is waning and the histogram will record shorter bars.

Similarly, if you are in a trade and the histogram is moving against your position, it is a warning that price momentum is starting to work against your position. This can telegraph a price pause or even a price reversal. This is known as positive divergence between price and the MACD. Negative divergence occurs when price is still rising but the MACD and the trigger line are moving sideways or falling.

As a rule of thumb, divergence over a shorter period is more powerful than divergence over a longer period. Think of divergence as a development that indicates that a market needs to take a break. It is reasonable to consider that there will be times in a bear market when a market becomes oversold, momentum starts to wane, and a correction is needed. Most people thought that those successful traders have a Holy Grail system that generates them money day in day out but the actual fact is there is no Holy Grail system in the world.

The problem with most new traders is they abandon their trading plan once it generates a losing trade for them. The reason why there are successful traders and there are people who fail miserably in forex lies in the discipline. A successful trader will continue to place their trade based on their trading plan even when they are losing 3 days in a row. This is because they know that the strategy works in the long run and they will be profitable in the long run as long as they continue to follow their plan.

If you were to toss an unbiased coin 10 times, do you really think that you will get 5 heads and 5 tails? But if you were to throw about or times, you will most probably get 50 heads or heads respectively.

This is exactly what is going to happen to your trading plan. Myths 2: Forex is a Game Most people thought that forex trading is a 50 50 game. They think that the market will either move up or move down only and forget that the market can also move sideway.

With the additional sideway movement for market, forex trading is not a 50 game. Therefore you need to do proper technical analysis to create an edge against the market.

Myth 3: You can make money with the click a button This is a message that is always sold on an advertisement and it has created a swamp of people getting into forex trading thinking that it is as easy as clicking a button. The main reason for their failure is their lack of knowledge and practice in this field.

Forex trading is like any skills that you want to learn, you need to put in hard work and effort to learn the rope, put it to practice and eventually make money from it. It took me about a year of learning and practicing before I really make money from trading. They are always looking for the best indicator, the best combination of indicators and the best trading strategy. When they are handed with a very simple trading strategy, they usually chunk it aside thinking that it must be nonsense.

In their mind, they always believe that a sophisticated strategy is the best. In actual fact, most successful traders trade with very simple strategy and there are even some who trade with no indicator at all.

The key to a successful trading strategy lies in the person executing it. You can give 2 person the same strategy and later find one person making a living with it and another losing all his money.

This is because every man trades and sees things differently. Therefore it is not how sophisticated the strategy is that makes you successful, it the how you trade with it that eventually makes you successful. If you have been reading my blog, you will find that I always emphasize the importance of trading demo. All you need is a simple to execute strategy with good risk reward ratio and you follow it like superglue, I will assure you that you will be profitable in the long run.

Eventually you need to decide on the type of trader you want to become so that you can focus on practicing and fine tuning the strategy that suits your trading type.

Scalper The scalper is a trader that stays in a market for a short period of time. A scalper will usually enter and exit a trade within a few minutes of time. The main attraction of a scalper is that they are able to see their profit faster compared to other type of traders. The main drawback for a scalper is that they have to think fast and is always acting under pressure.

Due to the short duration of each trade, a scalper has to decide on a moment whether to enter a trade or not. The scalping trader usually uses lower time frame chart like the one minute and 5 minutes. These allow them to analysis and enter their trade fast.

Day Trader The day trader will usually enter and exit their trade within the same day. Unlike the scalper, the day trader place their trade and usually exit within 30 minutes or even hours. The good thing for being a day trader is the amount of time available for analysis. A day trader usually has a specific time of the day where they like to place their trade. Prior to that period of time, they will usually do an overall analysis of their charts so that they have a feel of the market.

When the time comes, they will then wait for opportunity to enter a trade. The day trader usually uses the 15 minutes, hourly and at most 4 hourly chart for their analysis. If you take a look at your chart, you will definitely see a lot of swings. However not all swings are tradable as some of them are too small for you to trade with.

The swing trader will focus on capturing swings that are larger in nature and these swings usually occur at London open and New York open. A swing trader is pretty similar to a day trader; they usually exit their trade within the same day. Position Trader As for a position trader, they usually enter and exit a trade for days or even weeks.

This type of trading is most suitable for people who do not have time to look at their chart everyday. The pro of a position trader is the high profit it can generate as it allows profit to run for days or even week. However the stop loss for a position trade is usually very large. Therefore position trading is only suitable for those with more capital. Copyright Kelvin Lee Master The Skills To Successful Chart Analysis Chapter 2: Trend Analysis Before we embark on the top down analysis technique, I shall go through with you how to do trend analysis, how to identify important candlestick patterns and how to find strong support and resistance levels.

In this chapter, I shall start by talking about the trend analysis techniques. The most common technique that I use is through using the moving averages. In order to identify the current direction of the trend, you can just read it from the EMA.

If it is sloping up, you are in an uptrend and if it is sloping down, you are in a downtrend. Once you have the direction of the trend identified, you can proceed to identify the strength of the trend. This can be done be observing the angle and separation of the 4 EMAs. Why You Need to Know The Trend Understanding the trend is very important, this will prevent you from trading against it especially in a strong trending market.

Most of the time, people get stopped out of their trades because they are actually entering a trade in the opposite direction of the trend. However it still depends on the type of trading strategy you are trading.

If you are a range trader, you will wait for the EMAs to become flat before looking for trading opportunity. Copyright Kelvin Lee 12 Master The Skills To Successful Chart Analysis If you are a trend trader, you will always wait for the trend to become strong before looking for trading opportunity. Therefore knowing the type of traders you want to become is very important.

If you have not decided yet, it does not matter as the trend analysis can fit any type of traders. They are the reflection of the marketing movement and sometime it can give you advance notice about an incoming movement.

With the candlestick pattern, you will be able to tell if the market is going to reverse or continue to move in the direction of the trend. Being able to read the candlestick pattern can be a great help when you are trading and this is what I am going to teach you here in this chapter.

I know that some of you may think that the candlestick patterns are very simple knowledge but I can tell you that most of you are unable to identify them now even when you see them on a chart. So spend sometime here to learn and then put them into practice later in your trading.

Head and Shoulder Pattern 14 Master The Skills To Successful Chart Analysis This pattern is in fact a reversal candlestick pattern; it is only useful when you see it on a strong trending market.

What it must consist of is a left shoulder, a higher head in the middle and a right shoulder. Once you have identified the pattern, you should start to draw the neckline of the pattern which is the connection between the 2 lows of the head formation. How To Enter a Trade When the price actually breaks below the neckline, you will enter a trade.

If you miss the trade at the point of the breakout, you can wait for the price to move back to retest the neckline one more time before you enter your trade. You just need to measure the vertical distance from the top of the head to the neckline. Next you will place the vertical line at the point of breakout and you will know when to exit your position. However there is one thing that I hope that you can understand. Sometime what looks like a reversal on a lower time frame is just the retracement on the higher time frame and that is where the top down analysis becomes important.

I will show you more about the top down analysis later in this course as I need you to understand how to read the chart elements first. The railway track is made up of 2 long candlesticks, each of opposite direction. This is a sign that the traders realize that something is wrong and started to get into the opposite direction.

In fact, this can also be a continuation pattern when the market is in retracement. If you see the formation of the railway track at a major resistance like the daily pivot Which I will go through in the next chapter , you should be ready to go SHORT.

This is also a sign of reversal or retracement after the price has been moving in a particular direction for sometime. Once the price breaks below the neckline for the double top or break above the neckline for double bottom, you will enter a trade in the direction of the breakout. How to Exit Your Trade The way to do a price projection for the double top or bottom formation is similar to the head and shoulder pattern.

Again this is a sign of retracement or reversal in action. As for the hammer formation, it is formed when the price forms a short body with a long wick at one end of it. This is a sign of a stronger resistance or support trying to repel your price movement. You need to make use of trend line or other strategy to make use of these 2 patterns. As a whole, the above patterns are just warning that the price is either retracing or reversing.

Copyright Kelvin Lee Master The Skills To Successful Chart Analysis Long Candlestick The long candlestick is one pattern that I always stay away from in trading, the purpose of writing you this long candlestick is not to teach you how to enter a trade based on it, it is to inform you to avoid trading whenever you see the formation of such candlestick.

This is because the volatility of this candlestick will be enough to stop you out no matter what direction of the trade you take. It is always better to wait for the price to settle down before looking for a trade.

There are times where you think that the market is going against you by stopping you out again and again, this is because you do not know that the price has indeed hit a major support or resistance level and it simply reacted to it. Therefore identifying important support and resistance levels are what I always do before I look for any trading opportunity. Below are the important support and resistance levels that I look for every time: 1 Major Swings If you have been looking at your forex chart, you will realize that the market is made up of numerous ups and downs in the form of waves.

With every up, you will have a swing high and with every down, you will have a swing low. Although there are numerous swing highs and lows in the chart, not all of them are equally powerful. You need to know how to identify those powerful swings as these are what make the support and resistance. The best way to tell is through the depth of the swings.

If you have a swing that is very deep, you are seeing a powerful swing. If you have a swing that is very shallow, you are seeing a weak swing. Therefore one thing you must do whenever you are looking at your chart is to identify the position of these strong swings as there are usually places of strong support and resistance.Do not worry about the calculation and the formulas as there are numerous pivot calculators out there that you can use to help you calculate all the levels.

The candle pattern gives us the length of a price movement, and the volume tells us the size of the participation rate. Once you initiate a position, the new stop level should be fairly loose, giving the market room to breathe while maintaining a safe distance from the position.

Federal Reserve, which is the central bank of the United States, and the U. The fact that benchmark candles have a tendency to do that is good information to have, because it will give you a chance to get in on the move or exit a position if a benchmark traps you while you are going the wrong way. Notice how in April, after a sharp sell-off in February and March, the market found support on its daily central pivot, which is an indication of underlying strength.

There are important things to note about the differences between bar charts and candlestick charts see Figure Another great resource is www.

PDF Request permissions. Each new trendline becomes steeper, leading us closer to the correction.