How to Read Forex Trend Lines

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Contributor, Benzinga
June 13, 2024

Are you struggling to understand how to interpret trend lines in the world of forex trading? It can be overwhelming trying to navigate the complex world of charts and graphs, especially when it comes to making informed trading decisions.

Forex trading is a fast-paced and dynamic market, where trend lines play a crucial role in analyzing price movements and predicting future trends. Understanding how to read and interpret these trend lines can give you a competitive edge in the market.

In order to succeed in forex trading, it is essential to have a solid grasp on how to interpret trend lines effectively. By mastering this skill, you can make more informed trading decisions and increase your chances of success in the market. This article will explain what trend lines are, how to construct and read them and what to keep in mind when using them in a trading system.

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What Are Trend Lines?

Trend lines are simple diagonal lines that help to visualize the overall direction of price movement.

Those lines follow the price and extend into the future, attempting to highlight points of interest — where traders could enter or exit their positions or reassess the situation.

Trendlines are among the most popular tools of technical analysis. Sometimes they’re called trend support lines because they show key support levels for prevailing trends.

Forex traders prefer to draw trendlines on candlestick charts, but they work with any price visualization method, like line chart, bar chart or point-and-figure chart.

Types of Forex Trend Lines

The price can move in three directions — upward, downward, or sideways. Yet, there are 2 types of trend lines, an uptrend trend line and a downtrend trend line. If the forex market is ranging, traders use horizontal lines indicating its support and resistance range.

An uptrend trend line has a positive slope. A trader can draw it by connecting two or more low points that form on a pullback. The second low has to be higher than the first one to be valid.

A downtrend line has a negative slope, which is drawn by connecting two or more high points. Those points are pullbacks in the counter-trend direction, where the second high has to be lower than the first.

How to Draw Trend Lines

Spotting trend lines takes some practice, but it gets easier over time. You start by finding two swing points (either low or high) and connecting their peak points.

Several key points might help when identifying a valid trendline.

  • When using a candlestick chart, draw either wick-to-wick or body-to-body. Consistency is important.
  • Higher timeframe trend lines a more valuable, as it shows the major direction.
  • Shallow trend lines are more robust than steep ones.
  • Don’t force fit a trendline onto a chart. If it doesn’t fit, it likely won’t be helpful anyway.

What You Need to Know About Forex Trend Lines

Although it is possible to use automated drawing indicators, many traders prefer to draw them manually. However, they have to choose to either draw from candle body to candle body or from wick to wick. There is no mixing of those two approaches; otherwise, the results might be inaccurate.

It takes at least two connecting points to draw a trendline and three points to validate a trendline — preferably uninterrupted by price movements. Generally, traders prefer shallow trendlines with more connecting points as they’re statistically much more reliable than steep ones.

Therefore, to gauge a good trendline, you have to look at the angle, the number of points that touch each other and length.

How to Trade With Trend Lines

As their name says, trend lines are there to inform traders of the trend’s direction.

Trend lines aren’t a turnkey solution for formulating trading setups but can be a part of a larger system. For example, it is not uncommon to see multiple trendlines in one chart.

Their intersections make for ideal confluence areas to look for an opportunity to enter the trade in the direction of the major trend — the trend from the higher timeframe. For example, such an opportunity might come after the price bounces off the trendline intersection and forms an engulfing candle in the direction of the major trend.

4 Useful Tools for Trend Line Trading

Beyond drawing basic trend lines, a few additional tools might help when analyzing forex markets.


Trend channels are a set of parallel trend lines drawn by connecting their highs and lows. Channels show an orderly development of trends, and traders use them to catch short-term counter-trend movements, such as selling at the upper side of the channel in a bullish trend. Still, the best opportunities come from trading in the direction of the trend — in this case, buying on the lower side of the channel.

Chart Patterns

Chart patterns belong among the most useful tools for combining with trendlines. A price reaction from the trendline and a continuation pattern can be a robust system. Gaps, three methods or separating lines are among the patterns to look for. However, even reversal patterns like an engulfing pattern can be helpful when marking a short-term pullback that reverses in line with a larger trend.


Indicators aren’t any magical know-it-all solution since they only show what is already present on the chart. They condense the information to make it more apparent. The most-used indicator is the moving average since it can easily show the direction of the trend. Other indicators that might help with trend lines are the relative strength index (RSI) and moving average convergence/divergence (MACD).


Volume analysis is often neglected, but it can be a powerful tool for idea validation. Since most volume indicators show it in bars below the chart, a trader can also draw volume trendlines, looking to identify positive or negative volume trends.

Rising volume is the most valuable indicator of a breakout. When volume picks up, it lessens the chance of a fakeout — a fake breakout. Thus, volume is an integral part of any breakout trading system.

A Useful Tool — Not a Complete System

Ever since someone started connecting the swing highs and swing lows many decades ago, trend lines have been useful tools for traders and analysts alike. Still, trend lines should not be the sole reason for entering the trade but rather serve as part of a system with a solid track record.

Reading forex trend lines can be a valuable tool for traders to analyze market trends and anticipate potential trading opportunities. Forex trend lines help to identify underlying momentum, provide insight into the overall direction of the market, and can be used to set entry and exit points for trades.

When reading trendlines, it's important to be aware of the major support and resistance levels in the market. This can help traders recognize when a trend is beginning to reverse or break, which can be an opportunity for a profitable trade. Additionally, traders should watch for short-term trends that may not be visible on the longer-term charts. By understanding how to read forex trend lines and recognizing major support and resistance levels, traders can increase their chances of successful trading in the forex market.

Understanding the big picture and knowing where the price is more likely to go presents the first step in the right direction.

Frequently Asked Questions 


What is the best forex trend indicator?


The best forex trend indicator is the 200-day simple moving average. It shows the smoothed average price movement over the previous 200 trading days.


Do trend lines work in forex?


Trendlines work in forex, but their effectiveness depends on traders’ ability to draw correctly. Trendline drawing needs to be consistent either wick-to-wick or body-to-body with the correct use in a bullish and bearish market. In the bullish markets, traders should use the rising trendline below the price, while in the bearish markets, they should use a falling trendline above the price.


Do professional traders use trend lines?


Professional traders use trendlines to identify probable support or resistance levels. However, they’re aware there is too much subjectivity involved, so they seldom use them to execute trades. Instead, they rely on more objective horizontal levels.