Price Action Trading: The how-to guide

By Paul Reid

12 April 2023

Price Action Trading

Price action trading is a popular strategy used by traders to analyze the movement of an asset's price over time. This is done by identifying patterns on candlestick charts in concert with other tools to spot trading opportunities based on market trends. That’s what it is, but how to do it?

Table of content:

  • Top 5 Trading Strategies with Price Action Signals

  • How to use Price action trading

  • Step-by-step “how-to” guide to price action trading

  • The Pros and Cons of price action trading

  • Conclusion

Top 5 Trading Strategies with Price Action Signals

Here are 5 reasons why traders use price action trading:

  1. It’s a simple and straightforward approach to trading that does not rely on complex technical indicators or algorithms

  2. It can be used across different markets and timeframes, making it suitable for traders with varying levels of experience and interest

  3. It helps traders identify key support and resistance levels and plan realistic profit targets

  4. It reduces risk exposure by identifying key levels for stop-loss and take-profit settings

  5. It provides real-time insights into market trends and potential trading opportunities

Overall, price action trading is a versatile strategy that can provide traders with valuable insights into current market conditions. All while helping them make more informed trading decisions based on real-time data analysis. If you’ve not been using price action analysis, start now. Here’s how.

First, open a live trading chart on your browser so you can follow the tips below step by step. You can access the Exness WebTerminal instantly. Just register your email. Open a demo account in seconds and start trading virtual funds. The charts and tools are at your fingertips.

You won’t need to fund an account unless you find an asset you actually want to trade. If that happens, the funding process will be easy and secure. Both deposits and withdrawals are fast and under certain conditions instant, so you’ll be able to react to an opportunity without delay… when that time comes.

Important: By practicing price action analysis, the power of the below strategies will become an active skill, not just a memory.

Step-by-step “how-to” guide to price action trading          

Open an Exness WebTerminal tab on your browser. Open a new chart by selecting the + symbol and choose from one of the hundreds of tradable assets. 

Now slide the chart back two weeks to see the history of the price action. Draw a line (from the toolkit on the upper left) keeping an equal amount of price action above and below the line. That gives you a general base to work with.

Note: If you can’t find a good balance of price action for your line, then the asset is experiencing high volatility and you might need to choose a longer timeframe.

Time to draw a straight line that touches all the major peaks of the week. Think of it like laying a tabletop over a rocky surface. Repeat the process for the lower price reversals. Now you have an upper and lower boundary… that’s the price channel. Using a channel to forecast price moves is like using the roads to forecast traffic. And as with roads, there are times of the day when nobody drives by, and other times traffic is constant. Take notes of times or days of the week that had more action. You’ll add to that data as you practice in the hopes of finding a pattern. A good trader needs a kind of Sherlock Holmes mindset.

When is a good time or day to buy gold this month? Do people buy in the morning and sell in the afternoon? Do such behaviors exist?

Note: For popular instruments such as EURUSD, quick price moves need massive trading volume favoring one direction. For smaller instruments, less volume is required to cause volatility.

Now follow the price line as you scroll forward in time. How long did it take for the price to go from the low to the high, or vice versa? Do price reversals happen every day, or perhaps only once per week? How much were the biggest changes? 

Maybe EUR/USD dropped $0.09 (from high to low). Then again $0.12 the next day. Write down all price actions. Now you have established a price action range for the week. Generally, moves were around $0.10, so unless something significant is about to happen, your profit goals and risk limits shouldn’t be set far from those averages.

If there wasn’t a big report for that week, and the news didn’t speak of an event that could affect the price, then it’s fair to say that the volumes and prices were stable and regular. After all these observations, take a look at the price and pattern on the very right of the chart.

Is it rising, falling, reversing at the top, or rising at the bottom? Did something similar happen before and by how much? Is the price trending and getting more volume by the minute, or is everyone jumping ship and prices are sinking?

Now scroll forward on the chart to see last week's price action. Scroll back and forth, seeing the new price actions compare to two weeks ago. Take notes. At this point, it’s time to speculate on what will happen this week and the next.

There are dozens of popular indicators that can help determine forming trends, reversals, and breakouts, but for now, what do your eyes and notes tell you?

Draw lines indicating on the current chart where you think the price is going and revisit later to see how your forecast held up. Alternatively, you can make simulated order using the Exness Demo account option in a Personal Area assigned to you. You can set risk-free orders and check the results daily.

Now you know a generalized approach to price action trading. You know what it is and how to perform basic price action analysis. Open a chart on one of the more popular assets and scroll back three weeks to get a feel for the recent price range. 

Check media to see if there’s a big announcement coming. Hit the buy or sell button and see what happens.

>> Make your first risk-free price action analysis today

The Pros and Cons of price action trading

As with all trading strategies, price action trading is not a guarantee of consistent performance. Here are some pros and cons to consider before trading.

Price action trading pros:

  • It’s easy to do and builds excellent awareness of market behavior and sentiment.

  • It can help you understand which leverage setting is more appropriate for which asset, with the aim of maximizing profitability and minimizing risk.

  • Traders using price action may set take profit and stop loss on long and short orders based on current market conditions, and avoid losses generated by rallies and crashes.

Price action trading Cons:

  • Price action trading cannot predict massive market moves caused by economic events, reports, or media attention.

  • Traders using price action may set take profit based on current market conditions, and miss out on larger profits generated by extreme rallies and crashes.


In conclusion, price action trading is a popular and effective strategy for traders of different markets and experience levels. Price action trading provides real-time insights into market conditions, reduces reliance on lagging indicators, improves risk management, and increases profitability. Traders who use this strategy can benefit from its simplicity, flexibility, and focus on market trends.

By following the basic steps involved in price action trading, traders can develop a trading plan that includes entry and exit points, stop-loss orders, take-profit targets, and risk management strategies to make informed trading decisions.

While price action trading is a popular method of trading, it is not foolproof. Indicators do as the name suggests, they only indicate a possible price. Similarly, seeing clouds in the sky can indicate rain, but doesn’t guarantee it. Like the weather, there are thousands of factors influencing the financial markets at any given moment.

For example, a major economic report or a media hype can render all technical analysis invalid. For best results from price action trading, you should also check the economic calendar, perform fundamental analysis, and even follow geo-political news.

Consider installing the Exness Trade app to access the latest news, check upcoming events at a glance, and enjoy real-time monitoring of top moving instruments.

FAQs about price action trading

Here are some frequently asked questions about price action trading along with the answers:

Q: What is price action trading?

A: Price action trading is a strategy used by traders to analyze the movement of an asset's price over time to identify profitable trade opportunities.

Q: How does price action trading work?

A: Price action traders analyze real-time market data using candlestick charts and other tools to identify profitable trade opportunities based on current market trends.

Q: What are the benefits of price action trading?

A: Some benefits of price action trading include simplicity, flexibility, improved risk management, and increased profitability.

Q: Do I need to use technical indicators in price action trading?

A: While technical indicators can be useful in confirming potential trade setups or identifying key support and resistance levels, they are not necessary for successful price action trading.

Q: What types of assets can I trade using price action trading?

A: Price action trading can be used across different markets and timeframes, making it suitable for traders interested in stocks, forex, commodities, and more.

Q: Can beginners use price action trading?

A: Yes! Price action trading is a simple yet effective approach to trading that does not require advanced technical knowledge or experience. However, beginners should still take the time to learn the basics before diving into live trades.

Q: Is price action analysis better than other technical analysis methods?

A: Price Action Trading isn't necessarily better than any other method of technical analysis. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference and finding what works best for you.

This is not investment advice. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Your capital is at risk, please trade responsibly.


Paul Reid
Paul Reid

Paul Reid is a financial journalist dedicated to uncovering hidden fundamental connections that can give traders an advantage. Focusing primarily on the stock market, Paul's instincts for identifying major company shifts is well established from following the financial markets for over a decade.

Related articles

Back to all articles