Why Support And Resistance Level Is Essential For Traders

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Why Support And Resistance Level Is Essential For Traders

Support and resistance level mainly helps traders to understand the asset price movement depending on the market trend. These technical analysis tools are widely used by Forex traders . However, it is essential for different types of traders.

To understand properly, first, you need to know how asset price moves.

In this article, you will find a short introduction with the necessity of support and resistance level. Let’s start with a simple definition.

What Is Support And Resistance Level

Support and resistance are the two levels of the price, at which the price will tend to stop or reverse in the Forex market. These levels are denoted by multiple touches of price without a breakthrough in the level.

These are also highlighted with angled lines called trend lines. Support occurs when falling price stops, changes direction, and begins to rise.

On the other hand, Resistance is the level, where the rising prices stop, change direction, and begin to fall. Moreover, you can easily assume these two terms.

The below information will give you a clear picture of these two trend analysis tools.

Support level can be described as the “floor” which is supporting or holding up prices where resistance level is the “celling” keeping prices from rising higher.

When the price breaks the support or resistance level, it continues to make another support/resistance level. It is a common scene in the Forex market.

Major Importance Of Support And Resistance Level

The necessity of these two levels is worth mentioning. Traders pay attention to these two levels as they highly influence the stock price.

Traders usually can buy at a support level and sell at a resistance level. The support level helps traders to predict when to take profit.

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If he has been short where the resistance level, helps to predict the time to take profit if he has been long.

Furthermore, Support gives the traders an exact picture of what price levels should prop up the price in the event of a correction.

Conversely, predicting the resistance level can be helpful as the price level can be harmful for a long position, an area where investors possess a high consent to sell the security.

Moreover, these levels are essential for technical analysts. They use these levels to assume the price points where the probabilities favour a pause or a reversal of a prevailing trend on a treading chart.

The trendline helps to set apart a longer-term trend. And also trendline guides the direction to trade-in. Let’s discuss it with an example.

If the trend is down but still a range develops, then instead of buying at a range support preference should be given to a short-selling at range resistance.

Here, the downtrend let us know that going short has a better probability of producing a profit than buying.

If the trend is up and then a triangle pattern develops, favour buying near support of the triangle pattern.

Lastly, buying near support or selling near resistance can pay off, but there is no assurance that the support or resistance will hold.

Therefore, consider waiting for some confirmation that the market is still respecting that area.

Forex Support and Resistance Explained

Support and Resistance Talking Points

  • The concept of support and resistance forms the basis of Forex technical analysis.
  • Forex traders look to buy at or near areas of significant levels of potential support in an uptrend
  • Forex traders look to sell at or near areas of significant levels of potential resistance in a downtrend.

You may have heard of the old business cliché “buy low and sell high”. New forex traders usually ask the question how low is low and how high is high. One way we can quantify these levels is using areas where price has stopped and changed direction. The area where price stops after moving up and then turns around is called resistance. Resistance acts as a “ceiling” capping the further advance of price.

Resistance is not just some random area where price turns around. There are potential sellers, traders who have sold a Forex currency pair once before and remember the collective power they had to push price lower. There are also buyers who went long at support and were disappointed that price did not go higher and will close their buy positions with sell orders at or just before price gets to the resistance ceiling.

Another group that make up resistance are the ones that bought at or near resistance and are trapped when price fell at resistance. These traders are begging for price to come up one more time to get them out at breakeven. All of these groups work together to send prices lower and make up the “supply” in the supply and demand equation. More supply than demand, price falls, more demand than supply price rises; Resistance=Supply.

Learn Forex: GBPUSD Support and Resistance

In the chart above of GBP/USD levels of support are highlighted in blue while levels of resistance are highlighted in red. In an uptrend, traders look to buy at support and take profits at the next level of resistance. By entering at or near significant levels in an uptrend, Forex traders can reduce their risk exposure and get a trading opportunity with an excellent risk to reward ratio. Forex traders are able to identify several places to trade with the trend . The levels of resistance can be used as profit target areas or breakout opportunities as price closes above resistance.

Learn Forex: AUDNZD Resistance Sell Zones

On the other hand, levels of significant resistance provide ideal entry points in a downtrend. They clearly show countertrend buyer exhaustion at point when sellers return . The next level of support can be used as a target area. Support can also be used as a breakout entry area if price closes below support.

The balance of power is clearly revealed at areas of support and resistance. Price can bounce from a floor and move up to the ceiling and then bounce down. It is important for Forex traders to first identify trend direction and then choose to buy at support in an uptrend or sell at resistance in a downtrend. Additionally, oscillators like RSI and stochastics can be used to identify significant areas of support and resistance.

Support and Resistance FAQs

Do you have any other resources for new traders?

Get to know the basics of forex trading through our New to FX guide . You will learn what forex is and how to trade it making use of leverage. Furthermore, this essential guide provides an understanding of commonly used forex jargon and how to read a basic forex quote. After reading the guide new traders should be well on their way to developing their own forex trading strategy. Our in house trading specialists present a number of webinars throughout the week. Take a look at our topics via the webinar calendar .

Which chart should I use, Candlestick, Bar or line chart?

Careful analysis of charts is essential to forex trading. Before trading it is essential that you understand how to read the 3 chart types: Candlestick, Bar and line charts. This is explained further in our Introduction to Charting page which will equip you with the basics you need to make informed trading decisions in the forex market.

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Support and Resistance Basics

The concepts of support and resistance are undoubtedly two of the most highly discussed attributes of technical analysis. Part of analyzing chart patterns, these terms are used by traders to refer to price levels on charts that tend to act as barriers, preventing the price of an asset from getting pushed in a certain direction. At first, the explanation and idea behind identifying these levels seem easy, but as you’ll find out, support and resistance can come in various forms, and the concept is more difficult to master than it first appears.

Trading With Support And Resistance

Key Takeaways

  • Technical analysts use support and resistance levels to identify price points on a chart where the probabilities favor a pause or reversal of a prevailing trend.
  • Support occurs where a downtrend is expected to pause due to a concentration of demand.
  • Resistance occurs where an uptrend is expected to pause temporarily, due to a concentration of supply.
  • Market psychology plays a major role as traders and investors remember the past and react to changing conditions to anticipate future market movement.
  • Support and resistance areas can be identified on charts using trendlines and moving averages.

Support and Resistance Defined

Support is a price level where a downtrend can be expected to pause due to a concentration of demand or buying interest. As the price of assets or securities drops, demand for the shares increases, thus forming the support line.   Meanwhile, resistance zones arise due to selling interest when prices have increased.

Once an area or “zone” of support or resistance has been identified, those price levels can serve as potential entry or exit points because, as a price reaches a point of support or resistance, it will do one of two things—bounce back away from the support or resistance level, or violate the price level and continue in its direction—until it hits the next support or resistance level.

The timing of some trades is based on the belief that support and resistance zones will not be broken. Whether the price is halted by the support or resistance level, or it breaks through, traders can “bet” on the direction and can quickly determine if they are correct. If the price moves in the wrong direction, the position can be closed at a small loss. If the price moves in the right direction, however, the move may be substantial.

The Basics

Most experienced traders can share stories about how certain price levels tend to prevent traders from pushing the price of an underlying asset in a certain direction. For example, assume that Jim was holding a position in stock between March and November and that he was expecting the value of the shares to increase.

Let’s imagine that Jim notices that the price fails to get above $39 several times over several months, even though it has gotten very close to moving above that level. In this case, traders would call the price level near $39 a level of resistance. As you can see from the chart below, resistance levels are also regarded as a ceiling because these price levels represent areas where a rally runs out of gas.

Support levels are on the other side of the coin. Support refers to prices on a chart that tend to act as a floor by preventing the price of an asset from being pushed downward. As you can see from the chart below, the ability to identify a level of support can also coincide with a buying opportunity because this is generally the area where market participants see value and start to push prices higher again.

Trendlines

The examples above show a constant level prevents an asset’s price from moving higher or lower. This static barrier is one of the most popular forms of support/resistance, but the price of financial assets generally trends upward or downward, so it is not uncommon to see these price barriers change over time. This is why the concepts of trending and trendlines are important when learning about support and resistance.

When the market is trending to the upside, resistance levels are formed as the price action slows and starts to move back toward the trendline. This occurs as a result of profit-taking or near-term uncertainty for a particular issue or sector. The resulting price action undergoes a “plateau” effect, or a slight drop-off in stock price, creating a short-term top.

Many traders will pay close attention to the price of a security as it falls toward the broader support of the trendline because, historically, this has been an area that has prevented the price of the asset from moving substantially lower. For example, as you can see from the Newmont Mining Corp (NEM) chart below, a trendline can provide support for an asset for several years. In this case, notice how the trendline propped up the price of Newmont’s shares for an extended period of time.

On the other hand, when the market is trending to the downside, traders will watch for a series of declining peaks and will attempt to connect these peaks together with a trendline. When the price approaches the trendline, most traders will watch for the asset to encounter selling pressure and may consider entering a short position because this is an area that has pushed the price downward in the past.

The support/resistance of an identified level, whether discovered with a trendline or through any other method, is deemed to be stronger the more times that the price has historically been unable to move beyond it. Many technical traders will use their identified support and resistance levels to choose strategic entry/exit points because these areas often represent the prices that are the most influential to an asset’s direction. Most traders are confident at these levels in the underlying value of the asset, so the volume generally increases more than usual, making it much more difficult for traders to continue driving the price higher or lower.

Unlike the rational economic actors portrayed by financial models, real human traders and investors are emotional, make cognitive errors, and fall back on heuristics or shortcuts. If people were rational, support and resistance levels wouldn’t work in practice!

Round Numbers

Another common characteristic of support/resistance is that an asset’s price may have a difficult time moving beyond a round number, such as $50 or $100 per share. Most inexperienced traders tend to buy or sell assets when the price is at a whole number because they are more likely to feel that a stock is fairly valued at such levels. Most target prices or stop orders set by either retail investors or large investment banks are placed at round price levels rather than at prices such as $50.06. Because so many orders are placed at the same level, these round numbers tend to act as strong price barriers. If all the clients of an investment bank put in sell orders at a suggested target of, for example, $55, it would take an extreme number of purchases to absorb these sales and, therefore, a level of resistance would be created.

Moving Averages

Most technical traders incorporate the power of various technical indicators, such as moving averages, to aid in predicting future short-term momentum, but these traders never fully realize the ability these tools have for identifying levels of support and resistance. As you can see from the chart below, a moving average is a constantly changing line that smooths out past price data while also allowing the trader to identify support and resistance. Notice how the price of the asset finds support at the moving average when the trend is up, and how it acts as resistance when the trend is down.

Traders can use moving averages in a variety of ways, such as to anticipate moves to the upside when price lines cross above a key moving average, or to exit trades when the price drops below a moving average. Regardless of how the moving average is used, it often creates “automatic” support and resistance levels. Most traders will experiment with different time periods in their moving averages so that they can find the one that works best for this specific task.

Other Indicators

In technical analysis, many indicators have been developed to identify barriers to future price action. These indicators seem complicated at first, and it often takes practice and experience to use them effectively. Regardless of an indicator’s complexity, however, the interpretation of the identified barrier should be consistent to those achieved through simpler methods.

The “golden ratio” used in the Fibonacci sequence, and also observed repeatedly in nature and social structure.

For example, the Fibonacci retracement tool is a favorite among many short-term traders because it clearly identifies levels of potential support/resistance. The reasoning behind how this indicator calculates the various levels of support and resistance is beyond the scope of this article, but notice in Figure 5 how the identified levels (dotted lines) are barriers to the short-term direction of the price.

Measuring the Significance of Zones

Remember how we used the terms “floor” for support and “ceiling” for resistance? Continuing the house analogy, the security can be viewed as a rubber ball that bounces in a room will hit the floor (support) and then rebound off the ceiling (resistance). A ball that continues to bounce between the floor and the ceiling is similar to a trading instrument that is experiencing price consolidation between support and resistance zones.

Now imagine that the ball, in mid-flight, changes to a bowling ball. This extra force, if applied on the way up, will push the ball through the resistance level; on the way down, it will push the ball through the support level. Either way, extra force, or enthusiasm from either the bulls or bears, is needed to break through the support or resistance.

A previous support level will sometimes become a resistance level when the price attempts to move back up, and conversely, a resistance level will become a support level as the price temporarily falls back.

Price charts allow traders and investors to visually identify areas of support and resistance, and they give clues regarding the significance of these price levels. More specifically, they look at:

Number of Touches

The more times the price tests a support or resistance area, the more significant the level becomes. When prices keep bouncing off a support or resistance level, more buyers and sellers notice and will base trading decisions on these levels.

Preceding Price Move

Support and resistance zones are likely to be more significant when they are preceded by steep advances or declines. For example, a fast, steep advance or uptrend will be met with more competition and enthusiasm and may be halted by a more significant resistance level than a slow, steady advance. A slow advance may not attract as much attention. This is a good example of how market psychology drives technical indicators.

Volume at Certain Price Levels

The more buying and selling that has occurred at a particular price level, the stronger the support or resistance level is likely to be. This is because traders and investors remember these price levels and are apt to use them again. When strong activity occurs on high volume and the price drops, a lot of selling will likely occur when price returns to that level, since people are far more comfortable closing out a trade at the breakeven point rather than at a loss.

Support and resistance zones become more significant if the levels have been tested regularly over an extended period of time.

The Bottom Line

Support and resistance levels are one of the key concepts used by technical analysts and form the basis of a wide variety of technical analysis tools. The basics of support and resistance consist of a support level, which can be thought of as the floor under trading prices, and a resistance level, which can be thought of as the ceiling. Prices fall and test the support level, which will either “hold,” and the price will bounce back up, or the support level will be violated, and the price will drop through the support and likely continue lower to the next support level.

While spotting support and resistance levels on a chart is relatively straightforward, some investors dismiss them entirely because the levels are based on past price moves, offering no real information about what will happen in the future.

Determining future levels of support can drastically improve the returns of a short-term investing strategy because it gives traders an accurate picture of what price levels should prop up the price of a given security in the event of a correction. Conversely, foreseeing a level of resistance can be advantageous because this is a price level that could potentially harm a long position, signifying an area where investors have a high willingness to sell the security. As mentioned above, there are several different methods to choose when looking to identify support/resistance, but regardless of the method, the interpretation remains the same—it prevents the price of an underlying asset from moving in a certain direction.

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