Types of Price Charts

 

In technical analysis method, the most frequent object that we will work on is price chart. Basically, price chart is a chart that presents price (or rate) values of a currency pair in the past. The horizontal axis (X axis) is for time values and the vertical axis (Y axis) is for the price values. Price charts can be viewed over different period of time units (timeframes). When studying a price chart you are viewing price actions that happened in the past which should give you an idea of where the price may go in the future.

 

There are three primary types of charts: Line chart, Bar chart and Candlestick chart.

 

Line Chart

 

Line chart is the simplest and most basic chart. In the line chart, single closing prices for each period of time are connected by lines. Below is a line chart of EUR/USD pair with one hour (H1) timeframe, in which each point presents the closing price of one hour.

line chart

Line chart

 

Line chart is useful for obtaining a "big picture" view of market trends over a long period like months or even years. But as you can see from the chart above, the line chart shows us the level of closing prices but does not give us any other information. We can not know how price changed within a period of time unit (1 hour in the example). Another problem with line chart is its lack of ability in reporting price gaps, which is a big space between two consecutive prices.

 

Bar Chart

 

Bar chart give us more detail information of price. It shows the opening and closing price, plus the highest price and lowest price within a period of time. Each bar presents the four most important points:

bar stick

 

 

High: The top point of the vertical bar.

 

Low: The bottom point of the vertical bar.
 

Open: The small horizontal line to the left of the bar.

 

Close: The small horizontal line to the right of the bar.

 

 

Below is a bar chart of EUR/USD pair with one hour (H1) timeframe, in which each bar presents four primary price information of one hour.

bar chart

Bar chart

 

With bar chart, we can find the price range over the selected time period as well as price gaps between bars if it happens.

 

Candlestick Chart

 

Later yet better, candlestick chart has the same information as bar chart, but it is much more beautiful and easier to read. This type of chart is called "Candlestick chart" because each time period is shaped like a... candlestick, of course :). The body of candlestick defines the opening and closing price while its wicks (also called shadows) defines the highest and lowest price in each time period.

 

Moreover, body of candlestick can be filled with different colors in order to distinguish the direction of price movement. They usually use green or blue for up candlesticks and red for down candlesticks. In the case of black-white graphic mode, up candlesticks are white (or hollow) and down candlesticks are black (or solid).

 

candlestick  candlestick

 

Below is a candlestick chart of EUR/USD pair with one hour (H1) timeframe, in which each candlestick presents four primary price information of one hour.

 

candlestick chart

Candlestick chart

 

Candlestick chart not only shows us everything about price fluctuations but also helps us to recognize price trends and patterns easily. If candlestick chart of a timeframe is not detail enough, you can switch it to a smaller timeframe to see more fractional price actions (it's like you zoom into a picture to view the details). The most typical timeframes are: one minute (M1), five minutes (M5), fifteen minutes (M15), thirty minutes (M30), one hour (H1), four hours (H4), one day (D1), one week (W1) and one month (MN).

 

Candlestick chart can tell you all stories of the market, so pay attention to understand it all.