Article Summary: Breakout and Reversal price action patterns are very helpful to traders new and experienced. The reason for their helpfulness is that once a currency pair has shown its hand and taken the next step of continuing or breaking out, you can trade with very specific risk levels which are one thing every trader needs.
Broadening breakout patterns are easy to recognize because they can look like a megaphone with a broadening form on both sides or with one side broadening and the other side acting firm. The firm side will either be support or resistance and we’ll use the firm side to target breakouts. Naturally, support is seen when the lower price holds firm and resistance is seen when the top price holds firm like we see below on USDCHF.
Learn Forex: Specific Targets Make This Pattern Attractive
The reason for the broadening aspect of the pattern is volatility. Each swing in the pattern is due to increasing volatility and the snap back is more violent than before until the pattern breaks. In a harmonic pattern, the chart swing highs in the broadening pattern will display a Fibonacci Extension of 1.27 to 1.61 of the prior swing but that is not required for the pattern to play out.
Trading the Broadening Pattern
There are two ways to trade these types of patterns. Each method has defined risk which is key and as always we recommend that you use appropriate trade size in relation to your account (free tool to help you keep your trade size in check). The two methods are trading either the Breakout of the pattern or the continuation of the broadening pattern.
When trading the breakout, like we see above, the trade is taken above a break of resistance or below a break of support. Currently, on USDCHF, we see a break above the resistance that has help since September of 2012. When price closes outside of broadening pattern and you see the following candle’s body completely above the pattern (Click Here for our FREE Candlestick Trading course with registration), then you are free to trigger the trade.
The risk point on breakout to the upside would be below the low of the last candle within the pattern. Likewise on a breakdown through support, the stop exit would be above the high of the last candle within the pattern. The profit target is nice and clean in that on a breakout trade, you take the largest swing low to swing high distance or pattern height and use that as your target from the breakout price.
Lean Forex: Trading the Swings within the Pattern
A great trade with limited risk is present when price touches and bounces of a broadening trend line. This is where you can take advantage of the broadening pattern and the volatility that accompanies the pattern. The risk and reward are also well defined on the swing trade.
The risk or stop exit on a sell would be at the level of the highest high when the candle touched the broadening trend line and then moved back down. The profit target has two options, one conservative and one aggressive. The conservative option would be at the mid-point of the pattern and the aggressive option would be near the bottom of the broadening pattern.
The 5 Wave Rule & Broadening Failures
Broadening patterns often have 5 full waves to them but not always. Each swing is higher than the previous swing and that is why you’re presented with the megaphone type display. The key swing is the 5th swing because the pattern is well formed and you can catch the largest move with very tight risk
Learn Forex: Broadening Failures Still Provide Trade Opportunities
A broadening failure takes place when price doesn’t complete the swing. This is a level where traders can look to exit because one way or another it is often hit. If there is a bounce off the mid-line, you’ll often see price retrace back to the broadening trend line.
A key aspect to trading this pattern well is staying flexible and keeping a strong risk: reward level. Trading this pattern doesn’t require many indicators but can help you catch nice moves.
---Written by Tyler Yell, Trading Instructor
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