Price Action Forex Trading

Price action is a type of technical Forex trading that is based on the bare prices and charts instead of the usual indicators. Traders that employ various price action trading techniques believe that bare prices and charts can tell us everything we need and that indicators, while being helpful for calculating some statistical dependencies, create a time lag that can be critical in Forex. In fact, all indicators and any other methods are based on the data that is a part of a price action. So, price action is just a broad definition for the rather raw technical market data. The four techniques that are presented here aren’t the full set of price action trading instruments; they are just the most popular and interesting ones.

Tape Reading. The term refers to the times when the stock quotes came to the trading houses (more like the modern betting firms) in a form of a tape telegram. Traders analyzed the changes in the quotes, their speed and volume and, basing on this analysis, issued their trade orders. Modern tape reading in Forex is somewhat different — you just analyze the quote as it’s displayed in your broker’s terminal and then trade using your analysis of the data. It’s the most basic way of trading and some new traders start from it without knowing how is it called. Tape reading is mostly suitable for scalping and can’t be used for the long-term entries.

Japanese Candlestick Patterns. Many different patterns, formed by the Japanese candles, are recognized by the Forex traders. Such patterns are usually quite small (they consist of 1 to 4 candles) and can be spotted on all timeframes. Japanese candlestick patterns aren’t too reliable but the abundance of symbols compensates the low winning rate. This type of trading is a part of price action but it requires some basic chart analysis.

Chart Patterns. Patterns formed by the price fluctuations of the chart are numerous — triangles, wedges, double-tops, double-bottoms, head-and-shoulders and many others are all part of this trading technique. Opposite to the Japanese candlestick patterns these patterns are usually formed by many chart bars and often serve only for the long-term market evaluation. Chart patterns sometimes have a strong fundamental basement and are thus valued by the professional traders and the Forex market tends to «follow» them simply due to their popularity.

Point-and-Figure Charts. This type is a bit more difficult than everything else in the price action domain. It’s also arguable that point-and-figure can be considered a price action technique at all. P&F charts are built based on the price changes, independently on time. The columns of X’s are formed when the price is rising, while the columns of O’s are formed during falling trends. The columns of X’s and O’s follow each after another. A price should pass a certain amount to form an O or X or reverse in an opposite direction for a significantly higher amount to start forming a new column. Trends can be easily read in such charts and many Forex traders use the strategy to buy and sell exactly at the new column’s start to catch the new trend.

Not all traders can use price action techniques successfully, the same as not everyone can trade with the indicators profitably. Price action can be used alone but it also can be interesting for other methods’ confirmation. With price action techniques you can always scale in and out and flexibly change your strategies as well.

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