Ways to improve your chart reading Part 2 – Multiple timeframes

FX:USDJPY   U.S. Dollar / Japanese Yen
The bigger the timeframe is, the bigger the move it may produce. Therefore, it can be good practice to define the direction of the price and your trading based on where and how things develop on higher timeframes.

Another reason to use timeframes with bigger resolutions for the confirmation of your decisions is that a trade setup on one particular timeframe is isolated from a bigger move and may appear while that move is at the end of its correction. For example, it might be that a higher timeframe shows a lot of supply (selling) in the background while lower timeframes show the presence of demand (buying). Usually, in these situations an up move will not continue for a long time and may eventually reverse, locking the trader into a bad position.

The 1-hour chart in the picture shows the US dollar/Japanese Yen FOREX currency pair. (FXCM:USDJPY). Wide range bars appear at 15:00 on March 7th, at 15:00 on March 8th and at 02:00 on March 10th, UTC time. According to the VSA methodology, the volume on those bars and their closing prices indicate the presence of supply (weakness).
At the same time, the price goes up for some time after each of these three bars. As a result, many traders who are using the 1, 3 and 5-minute charts, where the trend is up, open long intraday positions. With serious weakness in the background as seen in the picture above - when the smart money is selling - the price will usually not go up far and turns down very quickly producing a significant move. This gives the trader the chance to make a nice profit on small timeframes. An example of this kind of opportunity might be seen when an up bar on the 1-minute chart gets closed with low volume at 14:22 on March 10.

As in our chart example where it has taken almost 3 days to provide a good setup to the short side, very often it may take time for the trade pre-conditions to develop on different timeframes. An ability to wait until a setup on a lower timeframe is aligned with the strength and weakness of the bigger moves is another good habit to develop. In many cases using a multi-timeframe environment, as well as being patient, helps a trader to avoid losses and improve their profit.


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