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Introduction to Forex Technical Analysis

Reading time: 39 minutes

For many new traders, the vast range of methods to trade the financial markets can seem quite daunting. However, the majority of these methods can be broken down into either fundamental analysis or technical analysis of the financial markets. While some traders use both, the majority of traders nowadays focus on technical analysis, and Forex technical analysis in particular, for some very important and specific reasons you will discover in this article.

Introduction to Forex Technical Analysis

You will also learn how to perform technical analysis of the financial markets, how to get started on the best technical analysis software available in the marketplace, the top technical analysis patterns you start trading with and how you can become a master of Forex technical analysis, and other markets, with the help of the Admiral Markets team.

What is Technical Analysis?

Technical analysis is the study of price patterns on a particular asset. There are many ways to identify patterns in the market, but most technicians will focus on the following:

  • Technical analysis chart patterns. In this study, technicians use drawing tools such as horizontal lines, trend lines and Fibonacci levels to identify well-known classical chart patterns such as symmetrical triangle formations and consolidation patterns, among others. These patterns give clarity to the strength and weakness of buyers and sellers in the market.
  • Technical analysis candle patterns. In this study, technicians use technical analysis charts such as candle charts, which display the open, close, high and low price levels of a particular timeframe to identify clues on the behaviour of buyers and sellers in a short period of time.
  • Technical analysis indicators. In this study, technicians use price action indicators to help in understanding the market condition. For example, many indicators provide signals on when the market is overbought or oversold. Other indicators provide clues on the rising and falling momentum.

There are many ways to perform technical analysis of a particular security. In all cases, the technician draws upon historical price information to identify recognisable, and repeatable, patterns. These patterns are then used to help traders identify the correct market condition, as well as possible points to enter and exit the market.

An example technical analysis chart on the MetaTrader 5 technical analysis software.

Disclaimer: Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

Traders who choose Admiral Markets will be happy to know that they can trade absolutely without risk using a free demo account which also gives free access to the MetaTrader technical analysis software you can use as you read through this article. Take control of your trading experience, click the banner below to open your FREE demo account today!

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The Origins of Technical Analysis

Technical analysis of the financial markets has existed for as long as there have been markets driven by supply and demand. The first known historical records are dated around the 17th century for Dutch merchants and the 18th century for Japanese rice traders. At the end of the 19th-century technical analysis began to take off, as it was propelled into the trading masses by the founder and editor of The Wall Street Journal, Charles Dow.

Among his contemporary compatriots were other technical pioneers such as Ralph Nelson Elliott, the founder of the famous Elliott wave theory; William Delbert Gann, the founder of Gann angle theory; and Richard Demille Wyckoff who was possibly the first market psychologist who theorised that the market, with all the historical data recorded, is best considered as a single mind.

His teachings are still taught at some of the top universities in the US. For most of the 20th century and throughout history, technical analysis was limited to charting, as statistical computation of vast amounts of data was unavailable. That meant no technical analysis indicators were available. It also means that now - the digital era - can probably be considered as the Golden Age of technical analysis and the right time to learn more about it.

Does Technical Analysis Work?

Financial markets are impacted and influenced by a wide range of factors including, for instance, monetary policies administered by central banks, fiscal policies delivered by governments, and many internal economic factors that are determined by companies and consumers alike. Studying all those factors, realising how they impact different assets and markets, and knowing which factors have the most impact is an incredibly difficult task. This type of study is also known as fundamental analysis.

Equally important is that, when analysing these factors, traders can make errors in cause and effect. This is particularly true for individual traders who have limited time and focus. However, the good news is that there is a reliable short-cut whereby analysts can focus a lot of their attention on just one piece of data – price movement. Technical analysis is also known as chart analysis, and allows traders to analyse historical price movements.

This analysis can then offer traders:

  1. The ability to judge whether the chart is interesting to trade on or not.
  2. How traders can look for a potential trade setup.
  3. Where traders can find potential trade setups.
  4. How to manage those potential trade setups.

Fundamental Analysis vs Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets

Technical Analysis

Fundamental Analysis

Study of price charts and price patterns.

Study of economic, or company, data.

As mentioned above, fundamental analysis is the study of economic data (such as retail sales figures, inflation reports, employment data, etc) or company news and earnings announcements to identify the trend of the market and possible turning points or changes in the direction of a particular market. While fundamental analysis is still useful in some markets, like the stock market, technical analysis is now much more common.

One of the reasons technical analysis is because more and more people are using technical analysis to aid in their trading decisions, making it even more effective than ever before. However, most traders will use a combination of technical analysis and fundamental analysis, as if both fields of study point to the same market move it is generally considered a high probability trading opportunity.

Advantages of Technical Analysis:

  • Forex technical analysis only requires a few basic tools which are free with the Admiral Markets MetaTrader platform.
  • Forex technical analysis can sometimes give high probability directional views and points of entry and exit from the market.
  • There are a wide variety of technical analysis tools and indicators that can help with identifying possible trading setups.

Disadvantages of Technical Analysis:

  • Because of its widespread use, Forex technical analysis can trigger very abrupt market movements in the event that many traders come to the same conclusions.
  • In some markets, technical analysis should always be combined with fundamental analysis.

Advantages of Fundamental Analysis:

  • Can help you to understand why a market is going up or down.
  • When combined with technical analysis can lead to long term trends.

Disadvantages of Fundamental Analysis:

  • There are so many fundamental analysis tools to use there can be lots of conflicts with some indicators showing good data and some showing bad data. This can lead to confusion.
  • Keeping track of all the different news announcements can be time consuming.
  • Just because fundamental analysis says one thing doesn't mean the market will respond. For example, even if US economic data is weak it doesn't mean the US dollar will go down as - if all the other currencies are weak - traders may choose to stick to the US dollar because it's the world's largest economy so will probably get better faster than other countries.
  • Takes much longer to master the outcomes of different economic data such as inflation reports and company earnings announcements.

Technical Analysis Basics

There are some underlying principles regarding technical analysis which keep it relevant to this day. Here are some of the basics you should know:

Price action discounts everything

The logical framework of technical analysis derives from Dow theory, which claims that the price accurately reflects all relevant information. Thus, whatever factor has an impact on supply and demand will inevitably end up on the chart. As for researching, or even being aware of the events outside price action, they are mostly rendered useless, as they are unquantifiable and may provide unreliable data.

Price moves in trends

Technicians tend to favour the trend-like nature of the market, another echo of the Dow theory. Markets can move in uptrends - a bullish market that continuously creates higher highs and higher lows - while in the big picture the price seems to be jumping up and down within an upward corridor. A similar market behaviour, only characterised by lower lows and lower highs constitute a downtrend - a bearish market.

A horizontal trend is called a ranging market and is not a particularly desirable place for a trend-based trader to be. This is because, during the ranging periods, there is hardly any way to be certain about what will happen next. A ranging market means that the bulls and the bears are more or less equal in power, and neither side is strong enough to dominate another long enough to form a trend. Markets range on average about 60% of the time, which makes identifying trends extremely important.

It's worth remembering that Forex statistical analysis doesn't concern itself much with the 'whys' of why things happen. For example, 'why do trends occur?' would be a reasonable question, but to a technical trader, it's completely irrelevant. They just wouldn't know how to quantify the answer. To them, the existence of trends is simply an empirically proven fact.

History repeats itself

Technicians agree that investors, as a whole, operate in patterns. Because of this behaviour, technicians believe that they are able to accurately identify patterns and make trades with a higher probability. All they need is a small statistical advantage, multiplied by repetitions and leverage.

While technical analysis of markets, such as Forex technical analysis, is popular in its own right, many traders use technical analysis in combination with some fundamental analysis or sentiment analysis. Technicians may excel at identifying and confirming trends, but it is the fundamental shifts that organise conditions for those trends to develop.

One last thing to consider is the method of Forex backtesting. Also known as historical backtesting, this is a method employed by traders that use historical data to test a trading strategy, which primarily uses Forex technical analysis. As with all statistical findings in any area of human activity, past data does not guarantee that the pattern or the probability will last. It is only a tool. The most important thing is to get started and learn through doing!

How To Get Started: Choosing The Best Technical Analysis Software

As technical analysis is the study of price charts, the first step in getting started is to use the best technical analysis software. In the trading world, there is none better than the globally-recognised MetaTrader suite of trading platforms.

With Admiral Markets, demo-account holders and live-account holders, have access to a wide range of the best Forex & CFD technical analysis software:

While users can access this technical analysis software by opening a demo, or live trading account, there are some differences between them.

For example, the MetaTrader 4 platform has been the go-to platform for Forex technical analysis traders for many years. The MetaTrader 5 platform offers traders the chance to use their technical analysis skills on more markets such as stocks, indices and commodities.

Both these platforms and WebTrader already have specific technical analysis tools in them which we will cover in more detail further down the article. For example, users of the MetaTrader technical analysis software can use multiple drawing tools to identify technical analysis chart patterns:

Users can also access multiple technical analysis indicators:

How to download the MetaTrader 4 technical analysis software for FREE!

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In the next sections, we look at the four types of technical analysis tools you can use to your advantage before learning how to apply technical analysis for different markets such as Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities and Cryptocurrencies. The four include:

  1. Technical Analysis Charts
  2. Technical Analysis Chart Patterns
  3. Technical Analysis Candlestick Patterns
  4. Technical Analysis Indicators

It is highly recommended you download your MetaTrader platform so you can follow through on the technical analysis examples below.

Technical Analysis Charts

The first consideration for a technical analyst is to decide on which chart type they want to perform their technical analysis on. Whether it is Forex technical analysis or stock market technical analysis the same chart type can be used across different markets.

The technical analysis chart types include line, bars and candles. Once you've downloaded your MetaTrader technical analysis software, you can switch between these different chart types by selecting View -> Toolbars -> Standard option. Once this is selected, you will now see the box below in the toolbar at the top of your screen.

Toolbar icons

The first option is to view the technical analysis chart called OHLC bars, the second option is candlestick charts and the third option is a line chart. Let's look at each of these each in more detail.

Technical Analysis Line Charts

An example of line charts on the MetaTrader 5 technical analysis software.

Disclaimer: Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

The technical analysis line chart simply connects the closing prices of the timeframe you are viewing. For example, when viewing a daily chart the line will connect the closing price of each trading day. Whether you are using Forex technical analysis, or stock market technical analysis, technicians mainly use line charts to identify long-term trends as it is the most basic type of technical analysis chart available.

Technical Analysis Charts OHLC (Bar Chart)

An example of OHLC bar charts on the MetaTrader 5 technical analysis software.

Disclaimer: Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

The technical analysis OHLC bar chart shows a single vertical bar for each time period the trader is viewing. For example, when looking at the daily chart, each vertical bar represents one trading day (Monday, Tuesday, etc). The bar chart offers much more information than the line chart such as the open, high, low and close (OHLC) values of the bar.

Here are some technical analysis chart basics for the OHLC bar chart:

  • The dash on the left is the opening price.
  • The dash on the right is the closing price.
  • The high of the bar is the highest price the market traded during the time period selected.
  • The low of the bar is the lowest price the market traded during the time period selected.
  • The green bars are known as buyer bars as the closing price is above the opening price.
  • The red bars are known as seller bars as the closing price is below the opening price.

Technical analysis charts such as the OHLC bar chart helps traders identify whether buyers or sellers are in control of the market. This type of bar also forms the basis of the next chart type - candlesticks, which is the most popular type of Forex technical analysis.

Technical Analysis Candlestick Charts

An example of candlestick charts on the MetaTrader 5 technical analysis software.

Disclaimer: Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

Candlestick charts were first used by Japanese rice traders in the 18th century. Similar to OHLC bars, candles also give the open, high, low and close values of a chosen time period. The major difference is that candles have a box between the open and close price values known as the 'body' of the candle which is coloured in either red or green.

Many traders find technical analysis charts such as candlesticks the most visually appealing and is just one of the reasons they are popular in Forex technical analysis and identifying technical analysis chart patterns.

Technical Analysis Candlestick Patterns

As we already know, technical analysis is the study of price to identify market direction which could lead to possible entry and stop-loss price levels to trade from. With candlestick charts, there are many forms of technical analysis patterns which are used by traders. These patterns are not just limited to Forex technical analysis either. They are often used in other markets as well.

Before we go through an example of a technical analysis pattern formed through a candlestick, let's first understand the formation of a buyer/bullish candle and seller/bearish candle:

If you are viewing the daily timeframe in your MetaTrader technical analysis software, then the above candle would represent a full day's worth of trading and gives a lot of useful information to the technical analyst, such as:

  • The high and low price levels inform the analyst of the highest price and lowest price the particular market made in the trading day.
  • The seller candle, shown by a black, or sometimes red body informs the analyst that sellers won the battle of the trading day. This is because the closing price level is lower than the opening price level.
  • The buyer candle, shown by a white, or sometimes green body informs the analyst that buyers won the battle of the trading. This is because the closing price level is higher than the opening price level.

A technical analyst would then use this information, along with other technical analysis tools we will go on to cover, to start building a 'trading picture' of the market condition and the possible scenarios of what could happen next. For example:

  1. If after a seller candle, the next candle goes on to make a new low in price then it is a sign that the sellers are willing to keep on selling, or shorting the market. This weakness will cause some traders to initiate short positions or hold on to the short positions they already have.
  2. If after a buyer candle, the next candle goes on to make a new high in price then it is a sign that buyers are willing to keep on buying the market. This strength will cause some traders to initiate long (buy) positions, or hold on to the long positions they already have.

There are a variety of different candle formations that technical analysts would use in their candlestick trading. One such technical analysis pattern is called the Shooting Star:

The Shooting Star technical analysis pattern is a bearish signal which suggests a higher probability chance of the market moving lower than higher. In this technical analysis pattern, the buyers push the market to a new high but fail to hold price there. Some buyers bail on their long position, causing the market to fall lower, leading sellers to step into the market. Traditionally, the open and close of the candle should be in the lower half of the candle.

Here are some examples of the Shooting Star candlestick pattern, used for Forex technical analysis, on the daily chart of GBP/USD:

An example of the shooting star candlestick pattern on the MetaTrader 5 technical analysis software.

Disclaimer: Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

In some cases, the market did indeed go lower and in some cases, it went higher instead. A technical analyst would also draw upon other tools from technical analysis to 'build a picture' on the market condition and possible areas to enter and exit. In the above example, the market moved lower more times than it went up providing high probability Forex technical analysis but of course it is no guarantee of what could happen in the future.

Did you know that Admiral Markets offers an enhanced version of Metatrader that boosts trading capabilities? Now you can trade with MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 with an advanced version of MetaTrader that offers excellent additional features such as the advanced technical analysis like the correlation matrix, which enables you to view and contrast various currency pairs in real-time, or the mini trader widget - which allows you to buy or sell via a small window while you continue with everything else you need to do. Download it for FREE today by clicking the banner below!

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So what are some of the other technical analysis tools that traders use to aid in their trading decisions? Let's find out!

Technical Analysis Chart Patterns

In the MetaTrader technical analysis software, available for FREE from Admiral Markets, there are a wide variety of technical analysis tools that are used to help in identifying technical analysis chart patterns. They include drawing tools such as:

  • Lines - Horizontal Lines, Trend Lines, Cycle Lines, Angle Lines.
  • Channels - Equidistant Channel, Standard Deviation Channel, Regression Channel, Andrew's Pitchfork.
  • Gann - Gann Line, Gann Fan, Gann Grid.
  • Fibonacci - Fib Retracement, Fib Extensions, Fib Channel, Fib Time Zone, Fib Arc, etc.
  • Elliott Wave - Motive Wave, Corrective Wave.
  • And more.

These can be found by selecting Insert in the top menu, then Objects. For example, let's take the popular technical analyst chart pattern called a channel, in particular, the Equidistant Channel tool which can be accessed as shown below:

Once this tool is selected, the user simply needs to connect the swing highs or swings lows of price to draw in their channel pattern. This can be done by:

  1. Left-click
  2. Hold down
  3. Release at another area on the chart.

For example, using this tool the technical analyst can draw an ascending channel pattern and a sideways channel pattern:

An example of the technical analysis patterns using the equidistant drawing tool on the MetaTrader 5 technical analysis software.

Disclaimer: Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

There are many types of technical analysis chart patterns used by traders. Some can depend on the market being traded with some patterns better for Forex technical analysis and some patterns better for stock market technical analysis. This will be covered in more detail in a later section when we discuss technical analysis for different markets.

Technical Analysis Indicators

One of the most popular tools of technical analysis is the use of technical analysis indicators. Technical analysis indicators are statistically programmed using different formulas and calculations from the information an OHLC bar and Candlestick chart gives - the open, high, low and close price values of a specific time period.

Broadly speaking, there are four groups of technical analysis indicators. The most popular ones are:

While technical analysis indicators are particularly popular in Forex technical analysis, the last group of indicators mentioned above - Volume - are more suited to markets which trade on an exchange due to the trading volume being the primary source of data for those indicators. Studies of the total traded volume are helpful to financial traders in the stock market, the futures market and the commodity market as the buy and sell prices from these markets go through one central exchange like the London Stock Exchange or Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

The Forex spot market is traded OTC (Over-The-Counter) so the total volume will be different from broker to broker depending on which banks and hedge funds they get their pricing feed from. This means that, for the Forex market, the technical analysis indicators which use volume is only using a sample of the total volume available for analysis. How much of the data is representative is up for debate.

In your MetaTrader technical analysis software program you can view all the FREE indicators that are available for Admiral Markets users:

With a wide variety of technical analysis indicators available, which ones to use may seem daunting at first. Further down the article, we explore the most commonly used technical analysis indicators for different markets. However, practising on a demo account is a great way to test different indicators, as is seeing other live traders use technical analysis indicators in real-time. With Admiral Markets it's easy to start learning how to use technical analysis in your trading as you have access to the experts every week as you will discover in the next section.

Traders that choose Admiral Markets will be pleased to know that they can trade completely risk-free with a FREE demo trading account. Instead of heading straight to the live markets and putting your capital at risk, you can avoid the risk altogether and simply practice until you are ready to transition to live trading. Take control of your trading experience, click the banner below to open your FREE demo account today!

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How to Learn Technical Analysis with Admiral Markets

Immersing yourself in the trading world can help to accelerate your trading training and implementation of technical analysis in real-time situations. Seeing how professional traders view the markets can give you the confidence to go away, analyse and trade the market yourself using technical analysis chart patterns and indicators.

Admiral Markets offers three trading webinars a week that you can register to watch, completely FREE in the Trading Spotlight webinar series.

Trading Spotlight features three professional traders on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, taking a deep dive into the world's most popular trading topics and strategies, including technical analysis.

To gain your FREE access to these trading webinars, simply register by clicking on the banner below:

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Technical Analysis for Different Financial Markets

Now that you have learnt more about technical analysis chart patterns, technical analysis candle patterns and technical analysis indicators, let's take a look at applying technical analysis on a range of different markets that are available to trade on with Admiral Markets.

Forex Technical Analysis

As the Forex market is very liquid it attracts all types of traders from one-minute chart scalpers to four-hour chart intraday traders to daily chart swing traders. As there are so many different types of participants involved in the market, Forex technical analysis is widely used.

In fact, Forex technical analysis users can use all the different types of technical analysis such as chart patterns, candle patterns and indicators. For now, let's have a look at just one of the types of momentum indicators listed above.

The Stochastic Oscillator is widely used Forex technical analysis indicator. As a momentum indicator, it can be used to identify turning points in the market. You can learn more about how the indicator is calculated here.

To add the Stochastic Oscillator to your MetaTrader technical analysis software chart simply follow these steps:

  1. Open your MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5 platform.
  2. In the top options select Insert - > Indicators.
  3. In the Indicators section select Oscillators -> Stochastic Oscillator.
  4. Press Ok.

An example of the stochastic oscillator indicator on the MetaTrader 5 technical analysis software.

Disclaimer: Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

So how would Forex technical analysis traders use the Stochastic Oscillator? While there are many ways to use it the most common is to use it for overbought and oversold signals.

  1. When the Stochastic lines are above the 80 level it indicates the market could be overbought.
  2. When the Stochastic lines are below the 20 level it indicates the market could be oversold.

For example, in the chart below of AUD/NZD, the Stochastic lines are above the 80 level, signalling the market could be overbought and increasing the probability of a fall.

An example of the stochastic oscillator signalling overbought on the MetaTrader 5 technical analysis software.

Disclaimer: Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

From this point, some traders may choose to wait for the lines to cross down below the 80 level and some traders may choose to place an order to sell in anticipation the market will fall. To place an order to sell, traders can either:

  1. Right-click, select Trading and New Order
  2. Click F9 on their keyboard
  3. Click the New Order tab in the top window

Once the trading ticket pops up, traders can then input their trade details such as the type of order, volume, entry price, stop-loss and so on. Typically, traders will use the previous bar high and low values for entry price levels and stop-loss levels.

An example of a trading ticket on the MetaTrader 5 technical analysis software.

Disclaimer: Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

Once the trader is happy with their trade values, clicking the 'place' button will create a live order. The trading levels will now show as horizontal lines on the chart:

An example of a trading ticket on the MetaTrader 5 technical analysis software.

Disclaimer: Charts for financial instruments in this article are for illustrative purposes and does not constitute trading advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any financial instrument provided by Admiral Markets (CFDs, ETFs, Shares). Past performance is not necessarily an indication of future performance.

Cryptocurrency Technical Analysis

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are newer markets that are now widely available to trade on. In fact, with Admiral Markets you can trade on cryptocurrencies against the euro 24/7 - so on the weekends as well!

While it is a newer market, crypto technical analysis still works well in the right market conditions. This is because Bitcoin technical analysis chart patterns are still created from the buying and selling activity of traders in the market. Even Ethereum technical analysis indicators can work well in the right market condition as the indicator is based on the price of the chart which moves based on the buying and selling activity of all the traders involved.

With cryptocurrency technical analysis traders can use chart patterns, candle patterns or indicators. A popular indicator for cryptocurrencies, including for Litecoin technical analysis, is the Average True Range, or ATR indicator. This is because it is a volatility indicator and the cryptocurrency market is highly volatile.

To place the ATR indicator on your MetaTrader technical analysis software chart, follow these steps:

  1. Open your MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 4 platform.
  2. In the top options select Insert - > Indicators.
  3. In the Indicators section select Oscillators -> Average True Range.
  4. Press OK.

Source: Admiral Markets MetaTrader 5, LTCUSD, Daily - Data range: from July 14, 2017, to Aug 14, 2019, accessed on Aug 14, 2019, at 11:11 am BST. - Please note: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

The blue line in the above chart shows the Average True Range of the daily chart price candles between July 2017 and July 2019 for Litecoin (LTC/USD). Cryptocurrency technical analysis traders would use this to identify periods of high volatility and periods of low volatility to help with placing stop-loss levels and take-profit levels.

In times of high volatility when the ATR is higher than usual or increasing, it means the daily bars are getting larger so some traders may go the lower timeframes to capitalise on this volatility.

Conversely, in times of low volatility when the ATR is lower than usual or falling, it means the daily bars are getting smaller which means traders may have to sit in trades for longer before they reach their target levels.

Stock Market Technical Analysis

Traditionally, stock market traders and investors have used fundamental analysis on whether to buy shares in a company. However, as the market now has a higher frequency of algorithmic traders using technical analysis indicators and chart patterns, there are many more stock market technical analysis traders than ever before.

It is common for stock market traders to also trade on stock market indices such as the S&P 500 or DAX 30 index. As the S&P 500 is one of the world's most recognisable stock market index, using the S&P 500 technical analysis can work very well in the right market conditions.

For example, many stock market traders like to see and trade on longer-term trends, often staying in moves for weeks or months. To do this, traders will often use the S&P 500 technical analysis chart patterns, candle patterns and indicators to build a view on the overall health of the American stock market, as well as to trade the price action of the S&P 500 index chart.

While there are a variety of commonly used S&P 500 technical analysis chart patterns, the most common is the use of trend lines and horizontal lines which are forms of technical support and resistance. To access the free drawing tools in the Admiral Markets MetaTrader technical analysis software simply click Insert from the top tabs in the platforms and then select Objects, Lines.

To draw a trendline on, traders can simply click the trendline option. The aim of a trendline in technical analysis is to connect the higher low cycles in an uptrend and the lower high cycles in a downtrend. Once the beginning points of these cycles have been determined, traders can left-click and hold down at the beginning of the first cycle and then, while holding down, drag the trendline to the next higher low cycle. This will then draw on a line to produce a trendline where multiple bounces could occur.

For example, let's look at the long-term S&P technical analysis chart:

Source: Admiral Markets MetaTrader 5, SP500, Monthly - Data range: from May 1, 2005, to Aug 14, 2019, accessed on Aug 14, 2019, at 1:59 pm BST. - Please note: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

In the chart above, the blue line represents the trend line. It only takes points one and two to create the trend line and then traders may look for bounces off the next time it trades at the trend line as points three and four show. Of course, at some point price will break through the trend line which is why stock market technical analysis traders, as well as S&P 500 technical analysis traders, will also use sound risk management principles.

Technical Analysis of Commodities

Many traders use technical analysis when trading commodities. The most common way is to use gold technical analysis and crude oil technical analysis as these are key commodity markets. Traders can use technical analysis chart patterns, candle patterns and indicators on gold and crude oil.

A common technical analysis candle pattern is the bullish engulfing and bearish engulfing candle. When using gold technical analysis and crude oil technical analysis the engulfing patterns can often show key turning points in the market.

A bullish engulfing candle pattern is where one candle completely engulfs the range (the high to low of a candle) of the previous candle and closes higher than where it opened. In essence, one candle's high to low range trades beyond a previous candle's high to low range.

A bearish engulfing candle pattern is where one candle completely engulfs the range (the high to low of a candle) of the previous candle and closes lower than where it opened. In essence, one candle's high to low range trades beyond a previous candle's high to low range.

Let's have a look at some examples.

Gold Technical Analysis - Engulfing Candles

Source: Admiral Markets MetaTrader 5, Gold, Daily - Data range: from April 3, 2019, to Aug 14, 2019, accessed on Aug 14, 2019, at 2:16 pm BST. - Please note: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

In the above gold technical analysis chart, the blue boxes highlight bullish engulfing candle patterns and the yellow boxes highlight bearish engulfing candle patterns. In some cases, but not all, the market continued in the direction of the bullish or bearish engulfing candle. Gold technical analysis traders will also look at other technical analysis indicators and chart patterns, such as the MACD or Bollinger Bands to build a stronger picture of what could happen next.

Crude Oil Technical Analysis - Engulfing Candles

Source: Admiral Markets MetaTrader 5, WTI, Daily - Data range: from April 2, 2019, to Aug 14, 2019, accessed on Aug 14, 2019, at 2:23 pm BST. - Please note: Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.

In the above crude oil technical analysis chart, the blue boxes highlight bullish engulfing candle patterns and the yellow boxes highlight bearish engulfing candle patterns. In some cases, but not all, the market did continue in the direction of the bullish or bearish engulfing candle. Crude oil technical analysis traders will also look at other technical analysis indicators and chart patterns, such as trend lines and momentum indicators, as well as fundamentals to build a stronger picture of what could happen next.

With Admiral Markets not only can you access the MetaTrader technical analysis software for free, but you can also use technical analysis of the financial markets on a wide variety of markets such as Forex, Stocks, Indices, Commodities and Cryptocurrencies.

Why you should start using technical analysis with Admiral Markets today!

Traders who choose Admiral Markets, are able to access premium live trading webinars where you can see professional traders use technical analysis in real-time market conditions, as well as:

  • Trade with a well-established, highly regulated company that is regulated from the highly respected UK's Financial Conduct Authority.
  • Access the fastest and most secure trading platform MetaTrader on Windows, Mac, Web, Android and iOS.
  • Access the Admiral Markets MetaTrader Supreme Edition plugin for advanced technical analysis trading tools such as the Admiral Pivot, Admiral Renko, Sentiment Trader and Advanced Order functionality completely FREE!
  • Benefit from our negative balance protection policy for peace of mind.
  • And much, much more.

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This material does not contain and should not be construed as containing investment advice, investment recommendations, an offer of or recommendation for any transactions in financial instruments. Please note that such trading analysis is not a reliable indicator for any current or future performance, as circumstances may change over time. Before making any investment decisions, you should seek advice from independent financial advisors to ensure you understand the risks.

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