Forex Trading Pivot Strategies: For many years, traders and market makers have used pivot points to determine critical support and/or resistance levels. Pivots are also very popular in the Forex market and can be an extremely useful tool for range-bound traders to identify points of entry and for trend traders and breakout traders to spot the key levels that need to be broken for a move to qualify as a breakout.
Forex Trading Pivot Strategies
In this article, we’ll explain Forex Trading Pivot Strategies including how pivot points are calculated, how they can be applied to the FX market, and how they can be combined with other indicators to develop other trading strategies.
Calculating Pivot Points
By definition, a pivot point is a point of rotation. The prices used to calculate the pivot point are the previous period’s high, low and closing prices for a security. These prices are usually taken from a stock’s daily charts, but the pivot point can also be calculated using information from hourly charts. Most traders prefer to take the pivots, as well as the support and resistance levels, off of the daily charts and then apply those to the intraday charts (for example, hourly, every 30 minutes or every 15 minutes). If a pivot point is calculated using price information from a shorter time frame, this tends to reduce its accuracy and significance.
The textbook calculation for a pivot point is as follows:
Central Pivot Point (P) = (High + Low + Close) / 3
Support and resistance levels are then calculated off of this pivot point using the following formulas:
First level support and resistance:
First Resistance (R1) = (2*P) – Low
First Support (S1) = (2*P) – High
Likewise, the second level of support and resistance is calculated as follows:
Second Resistance (R2) = P + (R1-S1)
Second Support (S2) = P – (R1- S1)
Calculating two support and resistance levels is common practice, but it’s not unusual to derive a third support and resistance level as well. (However, third-level support and resistances are a bit too esoteric to be useful for the purposes of trading strategies.) It’s also possible to delve deeper into pivot point analysis – for example, some traders go beyond the traditional support and resistance levels and also track the mid-point between each of those levels.
Applying Pivot Points to the FX Market
Generally speaking, the pivot point is seen as the primary support or resistance level. The following chart is a 30-minute chart of the currency pair GBP/USD with pivot levels calculated using the daily high, low and close prices.
What we also see when trading pivots in the FX market is that the trading range for the session usually occurs between the pivot point and the first support and resistance levels because a multitude of traders play this range. Take a look at Figure 2, a chart of the currency pair USD/JPY. As you can see in the areas circled, prices initially stayed within the pivot point and the first resistance level with the pivot acting as support. Once the pivot was broken, prices moved lower and stayed predominately within the pivot and the first support zone.This chart shows a common day in the FX market. The price of a major currency pair (GBP/USD) tends to fluctuate between the support and resistance levels identified by the pivot point calculation. The areas circled in the chart are good illustrations of the importance of a break above these levels.
This chart shows an example of the strength of the support and resistance calculated using the pivot calculations.
The Significance of Market Opens
One of the key points to understand when trading pivot points in the FX market is that breaks tend to occur around one of the market opens. The reason for this is the immediate influx of traders entering the market at the same time. These traders go into the office, take a look at how prices traded overnight and what data was released and then adjust their portfolios accordingly. During the quieter time periods, such as between the U.S. close (4pm EDT) and the Asian open (7pm EDT) (and sometimes even throughout the Asian session, which is the quietest trading session), prices may remain confined for hours between the pivot level and either the support or resistance level. This provides the perfect environment for range-bound traders.
The Bottom Line: Forex Trading Pivot Strategies
Traders and market makers have been using pivot points for years to determine critical support and/or resistance levels. As the charts above have shown, pivots can be especially popular in the FX market since many currency pairs do tend to fluctuate between these levels. Range-bound traders will enter a buy order near identified levels of support and a sell order when the asset nears the upper resistance. Pivot points also enable trend and breakout traders to spot key levels that need to be broken for a move to qualify as a breakout. Furthermore, these technical indicators can be very useful at market opens.
Having an awareness of where these potential turning points are located is an excellent way for individual investors to become more attuned to market movements and make more educated transaction decisions. Given their ease of calculation, pivot points can also be incorporated into many trading strategies. The flexibility and relative simplicity of pivot points definitely make them a useful addition to your trading toolbox.
Please note that: Successful Technical Analysis largely depends on the functionalities of the MT4 Platform provided by your broker. If you are new in forex trading, you might consider reading the article on what is the best trading platform, Introduction to MT4 Platform and MT4 Platform functions. We have used a fully functional MT4 platform provided by HYCM Broker. Read why their MT4 platform has better trading conditions from the HYCM Broker review.
Technical Analysis in Forex Trading
|Lesson 1||Types of Technical Analysis Indicators|
|Lesson 2||Forex Trading Trendline Analysis|
|Lesson 3||Forex trading Chart Patterns|
|Lesson 3.2||Double Tops and Double Bottoms|
|Lesson 3.3||Head and Shoulders Pattern|
|Lesson 3.4||Rectangle Chart Patterns|
|Lesson 3.5||Triangle Chart Patterns|
|Lesson 4||Japanese candlestick Trading Strategy|
|Lesson 4.2||Japanese candlestick Trading Strategy Part 2|
|Lesson 5||Support and Resistance Levels|
|Lesson 6||Types of Technical Analysis Indicators|
|Lesson 6.2||moving averages Technical Analysis|
|Lesson 6.3||MACD Indicator Technical Analysis|
|Lesson 6.4||RSI Indicator Technical Analysis|
|Lesson 6.5||Stochastics Indicator Technical Analysis|
|Lesson 6.6||Technical Analysis with Bollinger bands Indicator|
|Lesson 7||Fibonacci Retracement Forex Strategy|
|Lesson 8||Forex Trading Pivot Strategies|