Technical analysis

Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on February 15, 2024.


Technical analysis is a method used in financial markets to evaluate and forecast the future price movements of securities, such as stocks, currencies, or commodities.

What is a technical analysis?

A technical analysis relies on the examination of historical price and volume data, as well as other market indicators, to identify trends and patterns that can provide insights into potential future price movements. Here are some key points about technical analysis:

1. Price data focus:
– Technical analysis primarily focuses on studying historical price data, including open, high, low, and closing prices of a security.

2. Charting techniques:
– Charts, such as line charts, bar charts, and candlestick charts, are commonly used tools in technical analysis. They visually represent price movements over a specific time period.

3. Patterns and trends:
– Analysts look for recurring patterns and trends in the price data. These patterns may indicate potential buy or sell signals.

4. Support and resistance levels:
– Support levels represent prices at which security tends to find buying interest, preventing it from falling further. Resistance levels, on the other hand, represent prices at which selling interest tends to emerge.

5. Moving averages:
– Moving averages are calculated by averaging the past prices of a security over a specific period. They help smooth out short-term fluctuations and identify potential trend changes.

6. Technical indicators:
– These are mathematical calculations based on historical price and volume data. Examples include relative strength index (RSI), moving average convergence divergence (MACD), and stochastic oscillator.

7. Volume analysis:
– Volume refers to the number of shares or contracts traded in a security or market during a given period. High volume often indicates strong investor interest and potential trend confirmation.

8. Market psychology:
– Technical analysis assumes that market prices reflect all known information, including factors that may not be explicitly stated. It considers the collective psychology and behavior of market participants.

9. No fundamental analysis:
– Unlike fundamental analysis, which focuses on a company’s financial statements and economic indicators, technical analysis does not consider underlying financial data.

10. Short to medium-term focus:
– Technical analysis is often used for short to medium-term trading and investing decisions. It’s more concerned with timing entries and exits than long-term investment prospects.

11. Controversies:
– There is ongoing debate about the effectiveness of technical analysis. Critics argue that it may not always accurately predict future price movements.

12. Combination with fundamental analysis:
– Some investors use a combination of technical and fundamental analysis to make well-rounded investment decisions.

Overall, technical analysis is a widely used approach to evaluating market securities. It’s employed by traders and investors to identify potential entry and exit points, manage risk, and make informed decisions based on historical price patterns and market indicators.

Example of a technical analysis

Let’s say John is a trader who uses technical analysis to make investment decisions in the stock market. He is considering buying shares of Company XYZ.

  1. Chart analysis: John starts by analysing the price chart of Company XYZ’s stock over the past few months. He looks for patterns, trends, and key levels of support and resistance.
  2. Moving averages: John calculates and plots moving averages on the stock’s price chart to identify trends and potential entry or exit points.
  3. Relative strength index: John uses technical indicators like the RSI to assess the stock’s momentum and determine if it is overbought or oversold.
  4. Volume analysis: John analyses the trading volume of Company XYZ’s stock to confirm price movements.
  5. Support and Resistance Levels: John identifies key support and resistance levels on the stock’s price chart where the price has historically reversed direction.

In this example, John uses technical analysis to make informed trading decisions based on historical price and volume data, aiming to capitalise on short-term price movements in the stock market.

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