Price Action Trading Explained - Learn to Trade

Oct 10, 2022 Written By LAT Staff

Without a doubt, the price of a financial asset, such as a stock, currency pair, or commodity, is crucial to trading since the price change ultimately determines profit or loss. Traders who opt to rely exclusively on price charts must build a price action technique that analyses trending waves to determine when to join or quit a position.

Price action trading is a type of trading that predicts future price changes based on present price movements. This form of trading is becoming more popular, particularly since high market volatility poses issues for conventional market indicators. Hence, price trading is used extensively and efficiently by professional traders throughout the globe. This approach is particularly common in forex trading, where the extremely liquid nature of the market makes it acceptable. Novices should embrace one of several tried-and-true price action trading methods to maximise their chances of success.

Aspects of the Price Trading Strategy

Price Action Trading is the practice of basing all trading decisions on a "naked" or "stripped down" price chart. This implies that there are no trailing indications other than a few moving averages to assist in identifying dynamic support and resistance levels and trend. All financial markets create information on the price movement of a market over varied time periods; this information is shown on price charts. Price charts represent the views and behaviours of all participants (human or machine) trading a market during a certain time period, and these beliefs are shown as "price action" on a market's price chart (PA).

Although economic statistics and other worldwide news events are the drivers for price movement, we do not need to examine them to properly trade the market. All economic data and international news that impact price movement inside a market are eventually represented through PA on the price chart of that market.

Since a market's PA represents all elements impacting that market at any one moment, trailing price indicators such as stochastics, MACD, and RSI are a complete waste of time. Price movement gives all the signs necessary to construct a lucrative, high-probability trading method. These signals combined are referred to as price action trading methods, and they provide a means to interpret a market's price movement and anticipate its future movement with a high enough degree of accuracy to provide you with a high-probability trading approach.

Uncovering the Rationale behind Price Action

Price action traders argue that market psychology is the primary force behind price movement. They believe that there are several fundamental and technical causes for price movement, but ultimately, it all comes down to the trader's responses to events. Frequently, the price activity reflects the feelings of individuals. Fear, greed, and market expectations are the components of the market's overall attitude, shaping market behaviour patterns. A price chart reveals market behaviour, which facilitates price action trading.

Experts have criticised price action for not following basic fundamentals. As a price action trader, you are only concerned with analysing the chart in front of you. For instance, the trend, patterns, and possible trading setups. You are trading only what you can see in front of you instead of what you "believe" may occur with fundamentals.  After establishing a pattern, subsequent price movements will generally continue in the same direction. Until a trend reverses, it is your ally and often one of the greatest ways to improve your chances.

In the end, history repeats itself. Price action trading involves analysing market movements using chart patterns. Numerous types of price action research have been used for more than a century, and they are still applicable today since they exhibit the same price movement patterns.  When analysing price action charts, we are analysing trader activity patterns revealed via price action. These patterns continue to recur because individuals and traders continue to perform the same behaviours in comparable circumstances.

How to Analyse Price Movement

Price and time are the only significant trading components for a price action trader. Consequently, a price chart is a price action trader's most essential trading tool. On almost all platforms, candlestick charts are the most popular owing to their wealth of information about asset values and their aesthetic appeal.

Overall, a typical candlestick will represent the asset's high, low, opening, and closing prices (HLOC) during a certain time period. Conversely, a candle whose closing price is greater than its opening price is green (bullish candle), while a candle whose ending price is lower than its initial price is red (bearish candle) (bearish).

Analysis of trending waves and pullback waves, also known as impulse and corrective waves, is required for trading on price movement. When trending waves are larger than correcting waves, a trend advances.   Price action trading is straightforward, and most methods use a two-step procedure to locate and capitalise on market trading chances. The procedure is as follows:

Determine the Existing Market Conditions

As stated before, a market might be in an uptrend, a decline, or a sideways movement. Traders should be able to swiftly determine the current phase of price activity on the market by watching asset prices.

Determine a Trading Opportunity

After assessing the current market state, a trader determines if a trading opportunity exists.

How to Determine the Market Trend

As noted before, one of the fundamental tenets of technical analysis is that markets exhibit patterns that tend to endure. In reality, all of the technical tools a price action trader uses to serve the primary aim of spotting trends in their earliest stages and price levels with a high likelihood of reversal. The foundation of successful price action trading is the ability to discern a market trend.

There are essentially three sorts of markets: those with an upward tendency, those with a falling trend, and those with a sideways trend. Distinct market situations need different arsenals of trading instruments for effective trading.

During uptrends, trending markets generate higher highs and higher lows, and during downtrends, lower lows and lower highs. The image below depicts the appearance of uptrends and downtrends.

If the price fails to establish a new higher high during an uptrend or a new lower low during a downtrend, this indicates that the underlying trend is losing momentum, and you should be prepared for a possible trend reversal. The two primary ways trends reverse are via the formation of a failure swing or a non-failure swing. This is seen in the following image.

Price Action Trading Strategies

Now, let’s discover the most common price action trading strategies:

Trendline Trading

Trendline trading includes using lines to determine the ideal entry opportunities for trending markets. In an uptrend, a trendline is constructed from one swing low to the next and then projected into the future. Retracements to the trendline provide an opportune entry opportunity for long positions. In range markets, horizontal trendlines may be utilised to map out support and resistance zones.

Breakout Strategy

Among many price action tactics, the breakout strategy plays a vital role. If a price move is in a certain direction and then a breakout occurs, traders become aware of the impending trend or future direction of the price movement. To make your eyes comfy with PA breakout tactics, you must have a good understanding of a certain chart pattern. These designs consist of Triangle, Head and Shoulder, and Flag. 

Long Wick Candles

A market candle is symbolised by a body and wick (s). The body represents the difference between the opening and closing prices, while the wicks are the extremes (the high and low achieved). Price action traders like candles with lengthy wicks. For example, a candle with a long top wick indicates that during that period, buyers sought to drive prices much higher, but sellers rejected the endeavour and even managed to lower prices to levels near the opening price. With this knowledge, a price action trader may either continue to support sellers in the subsequent time or wait for confirmation. Long wick candles are a must-have for price action traders, regardless of the circumstance.

Inside Bar After Breakouts 

When breakouts occur, the problem for traders is to determine whether the breakout is real or artificial. As the name implies, an inside bar breakout pattern occurs when one or more candles trade inside the highs and lows of the huge breakout candle. Market players are hesitant to give up any breakout gains and are prepared to defend and back the new trend moving ahead, according to the psychological setup.

Concluding Thoughts

Price action is the basis of technical analysis and is a simple but powerful method for identifying trading opportunities. Traders who employ this strategy feel that the asset's price is the most important piece of information and is sufficient for making trading decisions. The only consideration is the price action itself.

In this approach, the price movement constitutes all of the elements (news events, economic data, etc.) that impact price and cause it to change. Price action trading is considered a "pure" type of technical analysis and is frequently referred to as "naked trading" since a price action trader employs a price chart devoid of technical indicators.

Next Steps

Start developing your profitable trading strategy through a combination of fundamental analysis and technical analysis by enrolling on one of our award-winning, accredited trading courses.

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