October 24, 2007

Trading Forex Using A Breakout System

Trading forex breakouts is one of the more basic trading strategies, but nevertheless it can deliver excellent profits. Just because a system is easy to follow does not mean it cannot produce consistent profits as breakout trading is a method used by some of the most successful forex traders around.

It's based around the whole premise that if a currency pair is trading in a very tight range for a sustained period of time, then eventually it will break out of that range and more often than not it will continue moving in the direction of the breakout.

This means that to make consistent profits you need to firstly identify instances where a currency pair is trading in a narrow range, and then place buy and sell orders at or slightly outside the current range to catch the breakout when it happens.

Furthermore if you want to look for the optimum set-up then you can use technical indicators to help you. My own method is to use a weekly 30 minute chart displaying 15, 50 and 100 period exponential moving averages.

When the price starts trading in a narrow range and all three of these EMA's have flattened out and also currently lie within this range, then this to me is the perfect breakout set-up. Why?

Well because with all three EMA's flat, something's got to give. It's like a volcano waiting to erupt. Once the breakout occurs, you could get a very big movement because the longer term EMA (100) can trend for a very long time so you could get a big points haul if this EMA follows the price and moves outside of the current trading range.

As regards targets and stop losses, I personally use the current trading range to determine where I place my stops so if I go long at the top of the range, then my stop loss will be at the bottom of the range. This is only really an emergency stop as most of the time the breakout will follow through and not go anywhere near this stop loss. My target price is usually the same number of points away as the stop at the very least. 

The best thing about this system is that it works pretty well across many different time frames, plus not only does it work well for trading forex markets but it's also an equally good system for trading other financial instruments as well.

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3 Comments on Trading Forex Using A Breakout System »

November 14, 2007

Ritch @ 4:38 am:

Following a break out system works well at news time as well. The Forex market can sometimes difficult to find a good breakout.

July 9, 2009

walter morris @ 12:40 am:

I have studied channels for years, and in commodities, if a consolidation price range continues for 12 weeks or more, the breakout is almost 95% clean. And I discovered that in cattle and hogs, an eight week breakout is around 80% clean. I believe it has something to do with how they cycle. Anyway, take a look at the length of a channel in terms of time. Last night I saw a great breakout from a day chart that broke out in the 10th week. And perhaps there are similar timing signals on other time frames.

James Woolley @ 7:42 am:

Thanks Walter, that's excellent information and I shall certainly be investigating it further.

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