Forex Walkthrough


Level 3 Trading - Chart Basics (Trends)

When a collection of data points are plotted on a chart, you may start seeing the general direction in which a currency paid is headed towards. In some cases, the trend is easily identified. For example, the chart clearly shows that the currency pair is rising over time:

Figure 1

On the other hand, there will be instances where trend is much more difficult to identify:

Figure 2

Therefore, more commonly, trends tend to operate in a series of gradually moving highs and lows. Thus, an uptrend is a series of escalating highs and lows, while a downtrend is a series of descending lows and highs.

Figure 3

Figure 3 is an example of an uptrend. For this to remain an uptrend, each successive low must not fall below the previous lowest point or the trend, if it does, it is deemed a reversal.

Types of Trend
There are three types of trend: Uptrends, Downtrends and Sideways/Horizontal Trends (The latter occurs when there is minimal movement up or down in the peaks and troughs). Some chartists consider that a sideways trend is actually not a trend on its own, but a lack of a well-defined trend in either direction.

Trend Lengths
Along with these three trend directions, there are three trend classifications that have to do with time duration in which the trend is taking place. A trend of any direction can be classified as either a long-term trend, an intermediate trend or a short-term trend. For forex trading, a long-term trend is composed of several intermediate trends. The short-term trends are components of both major and intermediate trends.

Take a look a Figure 4 to get a sense of how these three trend lengths might look.

Figure 4

Trendlines represent a charting technique, which a line is added to represent the trend in a currency pair. Drawing a trendline is as simple as drawing a straight line that follows a general trend. Trendlines can also be used in identifying trend reversals.

As you can see in Figure 5, an upward trendline is drawn at the lows of an upward trend. Notice how the price is propped up by this level of support. You can now see how this trendline can be used by traders to estimate the point at which a currency pair will begin moving upwards. Similarly, a downward trendline is drawn at the highs of the downward trend. This will indicate the resistance level that a currency pair experiences when price moves from a low to a high. (To read more, see Support & Resistance Basics and Support And Resistance Zones - Part 1 and Part 2.)

Figure 5

It is important to be able to understand and identify trends so that you can trade and profit from the general direction in which a currency pair is heading rather than lose money by acting against them. Now that you know a little about candlestick charts and trend, we can introduce you to one of the most popular chart patterns: Head and Shoulders.

Chart Basics (Head and Shoulders)
Related Articles
  1. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top 3 Japanese Bond ETFs

    Learn about the top three exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that invest in sovereign and corporate bonds issued by developed countries, including Japan.
  2. Taxes

    Here's How to Deduct Your Stock Losses From Your Tax Bill

    Learn the proper procedure for deducting stock investing losses, and get some tips on how to strategically take losses to lower your income tax bill.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    What Exactly Are Arbitrage Mutual Funds?

    Learn about arbitrage funds and how this type of investment generates profits by taking advantage of price differentials between the cash and futures markets.
  4. Chart Advisor

    4 European Stocks to Consider Buying

    European companies, listed on US exchanges, that are providing buying opportunities right now.
  5. Stock Analysis

    3 Solar Stocks to Add to Your Portfolio

    Understand the growth and challenges of the renewable energy market and its success in 2015. Learn about the top three energy stocks to add to a portfolio.
  6. Professionals

    How to Sell Mutual Funds to Your Clients

    Learn about the various talking points you should cover when discussing mutual funds with clients and how explaining their benefits can help you close the sale.
  7. Investing

    Have Commodities Bottomed?

    Commodity prices have been heading lower for more than four years, being the worst performing asset class of 2015 with more losses in cyclical commodities.
  8. Chart Advisor

    ChartAdvisor for October 2 2015

    Weekly technical summary of the major U.S. indexes.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Top Three Transportation ETFs

    These three transportation funds attract the majority of sector volume.
  10. Investing Basics

    Statistical Proof That Buy-and-Hold Investing Pays Off

    Learn about how the data suggests that the buy-and-hold investment strategy still works, even after the huge declines of the Great Recession.
  1. Qualitative Analysis

    Securities analysis that uses subjective judgment based on nonquantifiable ...
  2. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based ...
  3. Profit and Loss Statement (P&L)

    A financial statement that summarizes the revenues, costs and ...
  4. Liquidity

    The degree to which an asset or security can be quickly bought ...
  5. Derivative

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

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through ...
  1. Can working capital be too high?

    A company's working capital ratio can be too high in the sense that an excessively high ratio is generally considered an ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are the main kinds of annuities?

    There are two broad categories of annuity: fixed and variable. These categories refer to the manner in which the investment ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are the risks of rolling my 401(k) into an annuity?

    Though the appeal of having guaranteed income after retirement is undeniable, there are actually a number of risks to consider ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do I get out of my annuity and transfer to a new one?

    If you decide your current annuity is not for you, there is nothing stopping you from transferring your investment to a new ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are some of the most common technical indicators that back up Doji patterns?

    The doji candlestick is important enough that Steve Nison devotes an entire chapter to it in his definitive work on candlestick ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Are high yield bonds a good investment?

    Bonds are rated according to their risk of default by independent credit rating agencies such as Moody's, Standard & ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  2. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  3. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  4. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  5. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  6. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
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!