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That is why it is better to identify trend direction without using candlestick charts. Instead, line charts should be used for an easy to digest format that will give you a clear picture of various trending factors. Is the line pointing higher as the chart goes on? Is the line pointing lower as the chart goes on? Is the line flat as the chart goes on? Line charts should not be used exclusively but as part of a comprehensive trading system to help you identify the general direction without getting bogged down in precise details.
Moving average is another trend indicator that will actually work. Moving average refers to summarizing past prices, which are then plotted onto a line chart to give you an idea of the moving average of those prices. A moving average indicator chart will help you identify the overall direction and, most importantly, the strength of a particular trend.
For the easiest way to use a moving average to identify a broader direction of a trend, you need to consider these two factors: if the current price is above the MA Moving Average , then the trend is a long-term uptrend. If the current price is below the MA, then the trend is a long-term downtrend.
When you want to use the moving average to determine the strength of a trend instead, consider the following factors: If the price tends to stay above the 20MA, then it is a strong trend. If the price tends to stay above the 50MA, then it is a healthy trend. If it tends to stay below these MA numbers, then it is a weak trend. In general, this trend indicator is most useful in markets that are in uptrend or downtrend—but is relatively insignificant in markets that are in a range.
A trendline is a unique tool indicator tool that you can draw on your trending charts. A trendline will help you more accurately identify the direction and strength of a trend, but only if you are using it in the right way. Trendlines need to be done accurately to be a helpful reflection of overall trend direction and strength. Once you have the trendline finished, then you can interpret it.
If the trendline is pointing higher on the chart, then the direction is an uptrend. If the trendline is pointing lower on the chart, then the direction is a downtrend. How steep is it? How flat is it? As a general rule of thumb: the steeper the trendline, the stronger the trend; the flatter the trendline, the weaker the trend. Trendlines are most effective in cases where the trends are uptrend or downtrend; it is difficult for the trendline to be useful during ranges.
The final trend indicator that will actually work for you is Channels. A Channel is a special variation of a standard Trendline that runs parallel to the trendline and helps you properly identify the potential for opposing pressure on a trend. The Channel can help you get profit ahead of time before a higher probability of reversal occurs.
Channels are plotted similarly to trendlines, except they need to be run parallel to allow you to view both the trendline data trend and the Channel data trend at the same time. Thankfully, online software makes it easier than ever to have Channels plotted on the same chart as trendlines, so you will be able to easily tell the difference between these two vital pieces of information.
You need to take advantage of one of the most overlooked yet precious trend indicator techniques available: looking at the big picture. If you focus on the trees, you miss the forest—if you focus on the water, you miss the ocean. This same principle applies to trends. Forex traders are fond of the MACD because of its usability. It is a visual indicator, with divergence, convergence and crossovers being easily recognised.
Due to this attribute, the MACD is easily integrated into any trading system with other forex tools and analytical devices. It was initially developed for trading commodities futures contracts, but it has been adapted to the forex, CFD and equities markets.
Like other oscillators, the CCI places market behaviour into context by comparing the current price to a baseline value. In the case of the CCI, the moving average serves as a basis for evaluation. Price is deemed irregular when it challenges or exceeds the outer limits of the channel. This is unique from the standard scale as the boundaries are not finite. The CCI moves with the market, suggesting that price has a tendency of returning to an adapting mean value. While the difference between CCI and other momentum oscillators appears negligible, the channel concept dictates unique strategic decisions.
Nonetheless, CCI is an easy-to-use indicator and the core concepts of overbought or oversold still apply. Parabolic SAR. Designed by J. Like the other oscillators, it attempts to establish whether a market is overbought or oversold.
However, it does not employ any sort of standardised scale; simply a series of strategically placed "dots. The PSAR is constructed by periodically placing a dot above or below a prevailing trend on the pricing chart. For an uptrend, dots are placed below price; for downtrends, dots are placed above.
The product is a visual representation of the prevailing trend, pullbacks and potential reversal points. Forex traders often integrate the PSAR into trend following and reversal strategies. While choppy and range-bound markets can pose challenges to its effectiveness, the visual simplicity boosts the PSAR's appeal to many forex traders.
Support And Resistance, Custom Indicators. A variety of technical indicators are used to predict where specific support and resistance levels may exist. Upon doing so, areas of support and resistance are frequently combined with other trading indicators to build a robust, comprehensive trading system.
Bollinger Bands. Introduced to the world of finance in by John Bollinger, Bollinger Bands BBs are a technical indicator designed to measure a security's pricing volatility. Bollinger Bands feature three distinct parts: an upper band, midpoint and lower band. Each is represented by a line on the pricing chart, tracing the outer constraints and center of price action.
The visual result is a flowing channel with a rigid midpoint. At their core, BBs exist as a set of moving averages that take into account a defined standard deviation. The BB calculations are mathematically involved and typically completed automatically via the forex trading platform. To customise a BB study, you may modify period, standard deviation and type of moving average. As a general rule, a wide distance between outer bands signals high volatility.
Conversely, tight bands suggest that price action is becoming compressed in the vicinity of a periodic average price. Even though Bollinger Bands are trademarked, they are public domain trading indicators. Forex traders frequently implement BBs as a supplemental indicator because they excel in discerning market state.
Pivot Points. Pivot points , or simply pivots, establish areas of support and resistance by examining the periodic highs, lows, and closing values of a security. They are a powerful tool for quantifying normal trading ranges, market direction and abnormal price action as it occurs.
In practice, there are a multitude of ways to calculate pivots. One common method begins with taking the simple average of a periodic high, low and closing value, then applying it to a periodic trading range. The pivot value is calculated via the following formula:. Upon the pivot being derived, it is then used in developing four levels of support and resistance:. Pivot points are used in a variety of ways, primarily to indicate the presence of a trending or range bound market.
A general rule is that when price is above resistance levels, a bullish trend is present; if below support levels, a bearish trend is present. In the event price falls between support and resistance, tight or range bound conditions are present. Regardless of market state, pivot points may be used to generate buy and sell signals.
Pivots are a straightforward means of quickly establishing a set of support and resistance levels. Forex market participants regularly utilise them in breakout, trend and rotational trading strategies. Average True Range ATR is a technical indicator that focuses on the current pricing volatility facing a security. Akin to Bollinger Bands, ATR places ongoing pricing fluctuations into context by scrutinising periodic trading ranges.
The primary element of the ATR indicator is range, which is the distance between a periodic high and low of a security. It is computed as follows:. Range is a flexible calculation in that it may be applied on any period, including intraday, day or multi-day durations. By definition, TR is the absolute value of the largest measure of the following: Current period high to low Previous close to current high Previous close to current low.
The process is mathematically involved; at its core, it is an exponential moving average of select TR values. To keep the ATR current, the exponential moving average is used in favour of a simple moving average. Fortunately for active forex traders, the ATR indicator may be calculated automatically by the software trading platform.
The primary purpose of ATR is to identify market volatility. It is not concerned with the direction of price action, only its momentum. While ATRs do not specifically establish support and resistance levels, they are frequently used to confirm the validity of such price points. Donchian Channels. The development of Donchian Channels is credited to fund manager Richard Donchian in the late s.
Like Bollinger Bands and the ATR, Donchian Channels aim to quantify market volatility through establishing the upper and lower extremes of price action. Due to their usability, Donchian Channels are a favoured indicator among forex traders. They're typically applied automatically via a forex trading platform, but Donchian Channels may be easily computed manually. The key element of the indicator is period. Once an ideal period is decided upon, the calculation is simple.
The following is a set of Donchian Channels for an period duration:. Through focusing on the market behaviour evident between a periodic high and low, Donchian Channels are able to quickly identify normal and abnormal price action. The appeal of Donchian Channels is simplicity. The indicator is easy to decipher visually on OHLC, line, or candlestick charts and the calculation is intuitive.
These two attributes make Donchian Channels an attractive indicator for trend, reversal and breakout traders. Custom Indicators. One of the biggest benefits of trading forex in the modern era is the ability to personalise the market experience.
Advancing technology has brought the creation of custom charts, indicators and strategies online to the retail trader. For droves of forex participants, building custom indicators is a preferred means of technical trading. A custom indicator is conceptualised and crafted by the individual trader. Aside from personal preference, it is subject to no predefined constraints and may be applied in any manner deemed appropriate. Given the robust functionality of modern forex trading platforms such as Trading Station or MetaTrader 4 MT4 , traders have the freedom to construct technical indicators based on nearly any criteria.
The only thing limiting the custom forex indicator and associated forex trading strategies is the trader's imagination. The Bottom Line. At first, technical trading can seem abstract and intimidating. However, through due diligence, the study of price action and application of forex trading indicators can become second nature. Whether you're a trend, reversal or breakout trader, there are many forex indicators to choose from in the public and private domains. To sum them up, the best ones are easy to use and will add value to a comprehensive trading strategy.
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