What is Downtrend in Forex Trading? Technical Analysis

Forex Educational Video Series

What is Downtrend in Forex Trading?

We’ve covered uptrend, so it’s only natural that we discuss its polar opposite next: the downtrend!

A downtrend is a series of successively lower tops and lower bottoms which create a downward pattern on the price chart. Though they are completely opposite, the downtrend is like the uptrend: if its pattern holds, it remains intact.

The line that connects two or more tops is called the "downtrend line". A minimum of two tops are needed to make a downtrend line. But the more tops used to draw that line, the more traders feel confident in the downtrend because it reinforces the direction. The downtrend line acts as the “resistance” while the bottoms act as “support”. In this context, the usual trajectory of price is that, once it reaches the downtrend line, it rebounds to register even lower. When demand becomes greater than supply, the downtrend line will be breached.

This is when the price starts making higher swing tops or higher swing bottoms. Traders will then question the downtrend, or a reversal has taken place and has turned into an uptrend.

Remember that trends are not always a perfectly straight line. A downtrend may zigzag over time on a chart. But if it’s generally going down, it’s still a downtrend. This is illustrated by peaks and troughs reaching new lows as the trend progresses.

A downtrend gives traders an opportunity to make a profit from falling asset prices. If the trader has identified lower swing highs and lower swing lows, they can enter the downtrend in the hope that it continues. The trader sells a CFD and goes “short” the market, in the hope of buying it back at a lower price.

Failing to make more new lower tops and bottoms may mean a change in trend. This is a signal to buy the asset and exit your short.

Q & A

How do you identify a downtrend?

A downtrend is a series of lower tops and lower bottoms. Drawing a trendline from one swing high and connecting it to another successive, lower swing high will reveal a downtrend. You can extend that line on the chart to show projected prices into the future.

How do you trade a downtrend?

After drawing trendlines which identify a downtrend, the projected line into the future can act as a resistance level. This could be used as an entry point to sell the asset or go short. Above this level may mean a reversal in trend where you can place a stop order.

Do you buy or sell in a downtrend?

Generally, traders will look to sell the rallies during a downtrend. However, some traders may look for new lows to be made before selling. This is because trend followers like to enter in the middle of a trend when that trend is more established.

Next up is the final type of trend which isn’t even a trend line! We’re talking range. See you then!

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