Forex Walkthrough

AAA

Charts - The Bearish Diamond

For years, common formations such as pennants, flags and double bottoms and tops have been used by traders in the currency markets. A less talked about, but equally useful, pattern that occurs in the currency markets is the bearish diamond top formation, commonly known as the diamond top.

The diamond top generally occurs at the top of considerable uptrends. It effectively signals impending shortfalls and retracements with relative accuracy and ease. This formation can also be applied to any time frame, especially daily and hourly charts, as the wide swings often seen in the currency markets will offer traders plenty of opportunities to trade.

Identifying and Trading the Formation
The diamond top formation is established by first isolating an off-center head-and-shoulders formation and applying trendlines dependent on the subsequent peaks and troughs. It gets its name from the fact that the pattern bears a resemblance to a four-sided diamond.

Let's break the process down step-by-step using the Australian dollar/U.S. dollar (AUD/USD) currency pair (Figure 1) as our example. First, we identify an off-center head-and-shoulders formation in a currency pair. Next, we draw resistance trendlines, first from the left shoulder to the head (line A) and then from the head to the right shoulder (line B). This forms the top of the formation; as a result, the price action should not break above the upper trendline resistance formed by the right shoulder. The idea is that the price action consolidates before the impending shortfall, and any penetrations above the trendline would ultimately make the pattern ineffective, as it would mean that a new peak has been created. As a result, the trader would be forced to consider either reapplying the trendline (line B) that runs from the head to the right shoulder, or disregarding the diamond top formation altogether, since the pattern has been broken.

To establish lower trendline support, the technician will simply eye the lowest trough established in the formation. Bottom-side support can then be drawn by connecting the bottom tail to the left shoulder (line C) and then connecting another support trendline from the tail to the right shoulder (line D). This connects the bottom half with the top and completes the pattern.

Notice how the rightmost angle of the formation also resembles the apex of a symmetrical triangle pattern and points to a breakout.



Figure 1: Identifying a diamond top formation using the AUD/USD.
Source: FXTrek Intellicharts



Figure 2 below shows a zoomed in view of Figure 1. We can see that a sessioncandle closed below or "broke" the support trendline (line D.i.), indicating a move lower. The diamond top trader would profit from this by placing an entry order below the close of the support line at 0.7504, while also placing a stop-loss slightly above the same line to minimize any potential losses should the price bounce back above. The standard stop should be placed 50 pips higher at 0.7554. In our example, the stop order would not have been executed because the price did not bounce back, instead falling 150 pips lower in one session before falling even further later on.



Figure 2: A closer look at the diamond top formation using the AUD/USD. Notice how the position of the entry is just below the support line (D.i.).
Source: FXTrek Intellicharts



Finally, profit targets are calculated by taking the width of the formation from the head of the formation (the highest price) to the bottom of the tail (the lowest price). Continuing with our example using the AUD/USD currency pair, Figure 3 shows how this would be done. In Figure 3, the AUD/USD exchange rate at the top of the formation is 0.8003. The bottom of the diamond top is exactly 0.7250. This leaves 753 pips between the two prices that we use to form the maximum price where we can take profits. To be safe, you should set two targets in which to take profits. The first target will require taking the full amount, 753 pips, and taking half that amount and subtracting it from our entry price. Then, the first target will be 0.7128. The price target that will maximize our profits will be 0.6751, calculated by subtracting the full 753 pips from the entry price.



Figure 3: The price target is calculated on the same example of the AUD/USD.
Source: StockCharts.com



Using a Price Oscillator Helps
A key to successful trading is to always receive affirmation, and the diamond top pattern is no different. Adding a price oscillator such as moving average convergence divergence and the relative strength index can increase the accuracy of your trade, since tools like these can gauge price action momentum and be used to confirm the break of support or resistance. (To learn more, see Getting To Know Oscillators.)

By applying the stochastic oscillator to our example (Figure 4 below), the investor confirms the break below support through the downward cross that occurs in the price oscillator (point X).



Figure 4: The cross of the stochastic momentum indicator (point X) is used to confirm the downward move
Source: FXTrek Intellicharts



Conclusion
The bearish diamond top is often overlooked because it happens so infrequently, but it is still very effective in displaying potential opportunities in the forex market. When this formation is combined with a price oscillator, the trade becomes an even better catch - the price oscillator enhances the overall likelihood of a profitable trade by gauging price momentum and confirming weakness as well as weeding out false breakout/breakdown trades. (To learn about other tools used in technical analysis, see our Introduction To Technical Analysis tutorial.)
Fibonacci
Related Articles
  1. Fundamental Analysis

    Calculating Return on Net Assets

    Return on net assets measures a company’s financial performance.
  2. Forex Education

    These Are The Best Hours To Trade the British Pound

    The best times to trade the British pound are centered around economic releases at 1:30 am, 2:00 am, 8:30 am and 10:00 am U.S. ET.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares Morningstar Small-Cap Value

    Find out about the Shares Morningstar Small-Cap Value ETF, and learn detailed information about this exchange-traded fund that focuses on small-cap equities.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: ProShares Large Cap Core Plus

    Learn information about the ProShares Large Cap Core Plus ETF, and explore detailed analysis of its characteristics, suitability and recommendations.
  5. Trading Strategies

    How To Buy Penny Stocks (While Avoiding Scammers)

    Penny stocks are risky business. If want to trade in them, here's how to preserve your trading capital and even score the occasional winner.
  6. Stock Analysis

    Should You Follow Millionaires into This Sector?

    Millionaire investors—and those who follow them—should take another look at the current economic situation before making any more investment decisions.
  7. Stock Analysis

    Investors Need to Stop Shorting GoPro. Here's Why

    Discover why investors should stop shorting GoPro. GoPro has been one of the fastest-growing companies since 2005 with many betting against more growth.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: WisdomTree SmallCap Earnings

    Discover the WisdomTree Small Cap Earnings ETF, a fund with a special focus on small-cap and micro-cap stocks with positive earnings.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares US Regional Banks

    Obtain information and analysis of the iShares US Regional Banks ETF for investors seeking particular exposure to regional bank stocks.
  10. Investing Basics

    5 Things to "Deliberately" Do to Improve Your Trading

    Most traders are putting in trading hours, but not improving. Here are deliberate steps that can take your trading to the next level.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Derivative

    A security with a price that is dependent upon or derived from ...
  2. Real Estate Investment Trust - ...

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through ...
  3. Profit Margin

    A category of ratios measuring profitability calculated as net ...
  4. Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

    A three-month period on a financial calendar that acts as a basis ...
  5. Debt Ratio

    A financial ratio that measures the extent of a company’s or ...
  6. Price-Earnings Ratio - P/E Ratio

    The Price-to-Earnings Ratio or P/E ratio is a ratio for valuing ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is the formula for calculating compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in Excel?

    The compound annual growth rate, or CAGR for short, measures the return on an investment over a certain period of time. Below ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Where do penny stocks trade?

    Generally, penny stocks are traded through the use of the Over the Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) and through pink sheets. ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Where can I buy penny stocks?

    Some penny stocks, those using the definition of trading for less than $5 per share, are traded on regular exchanges such ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What assumptions are made when conducting a t-test?

    The common assumptions made when doing a t-test include those regarding the scale of measurement, random sampling, normality ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. When does the fixed charge coverage ratio suggest that a company should stop borrowing ...

    Since the fixed charge coverage ratio indicates the number of times a company is capable of making its fixed charge payments ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between the return on total assets and an interest rate?

    Return on total assets (ROTA) represents one of the profitability metrics. It is calculated by taking a company's earnings ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!