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Support and Resistance: Identifying Key Levels in the Forex Market

Fat Day Trader

May 1, 2023

11 min read

Support and resistance are two essential forex trading concepts that are used to identify key market levels. Support is a price level at which buyers are anticipated to enter the market, thereby generating demand that prevents the price from declining further. Resistance is a price level at which sellers are anticipated to enter the market, thereby generating a supply that prevents the price from increasing further.

Identifying these critical levels can aid traders in making informed decisions regarding when to enter or exit the market, as well as provide insight into market sentiment as a whole.

By understanding the principles of support and resistance, traders can analyze price movements more effectively and devise more effective trading strategies.

Keep reading to learn about the different ways you can identify support and resistance levels in the market.

Support and Resistance: Identifying Key Levels in the Forex Market

Below are several key levels in the forex market that can serve as potential support or resistance points.

Round numbers

The round number principle is a simple trend following strategy that can be used to identify levels of support or resistance. This method assumes that the price would tend to reach an impassable level as it approaches a round number, due to the psychological significance of such figures.

In general, it takes less effort for investors to buy or sell at or around round numbers compared with other prices, so traders may use round numbers as support or resistance points. For example, if the market price is approaching $50 and has previously traded between $49 and $51.

Resistances and support points can be created by drawing line segments across each significant high/low from the last several months, creating a new line that can potentially act as a future key level. The price will tend to struggle to break out of this area and traders can use this as a buying or selling area.

Moving Averages

Price channels are created by drawing two lines, one below the current price and one above it, which are then connected to form a channel. The price will tend to stay within this channel and traders can use this information to set profit targets or stop-loss orders near the support or resistance areas.

For example, if the market is currently trading at $50, a trader may create a channel by drawing a resistance line at $48 and a support line at $52. As long as the price remains within this area, it would be reasonable for the trader to assume that he or she is still in a valid ranging market. If the price breaks above or below this channel, it may signify that the range is ending.


It is also possible to identify key levels based on price trends. If a stock price has been within a downward trend for several weeks, there is a good chance that it would be engaged in a short-term trading range.

Therefore, traders can use the fact that once prices have remained within a single trend for several weeks and traded between two set levels (such as $50 and $51), they may begin to recognize this as a technical support point. This level can signal that the price has found some momentum and short-term investors may want to consider entering or exiting their positions at this level.

Pivot points

A pivot point is the average of significant highs and lows from the previous period. If the market is making a series of lower highs and higher lows, then a future pivot point may be created by averaging these levels together using simple arithmetic for both current equity (current period's high plus last week's low) and future equity (next period's low plus this period's high). The figure resulting from these components will tend to act as support or resistance for the next several periods.

Fibonacci Retracements

The Fibonacci sequence and retracement levels are concepts widely used in the field of trading and technical analysis. Let's delve into each of them separately to understand their significance and how they are applied in trading.

The Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers in which each number is the sum of the two preceding ones. It starts with 0 and 1, and the subsequent numbers are generated by adding the two previous numbers together. So, the sequence begins as follows: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, and so on.

The Fibonacci sequence has captured the interest of mathematicians, scientists, and traders due to its intriguing properties and prevalence in natural phenomena. The sequence appears in various aspects of nature, such as the arrangement of leaves on a stem, the spiral pattern of a seashell, or the growth patterns of plants.

In trading, the Fibonacci sequence and its ratios are used to identify potential levels of support and resistance, as well as to determine price targets and retracement levels. Traders believe that these Fibonacci levels can act as significant points where price may reverse, bounce, or consolidate.

Fibonacci retracement levels, often represented as horizontal lines on a trading chart, are derived from the Fibonacci sequence ratios. The key Fibonacci retracement levels are 23.6%, 38.2%, 50%, 61.8%, and 78.6%. These levels are considered significant because they indicate potential areas where price corrections or reversals may occur during a trend.

To apply Fibonacci retracement levels in trading, a trader first identifies a significant swing low and a swing high on a price chart. The swing low represents the lowest point in a price decline, while the swing high represents the highest point in a price advance. By calculating the percentage difference between these two points, the retracement levels can be derived.

Traders then draw the Fibonacci retracement lines from the swing low to the swing high, dividing the vertical distance by the Fibonacci ratios. These retracement levels act as potential support levels during price pullbacks or corrections. Conversely, if the price is in an uptrend, the retracement levels can act as potential resistance levels when the price retraces before continuing its upward movement.

Fibonacci extensions are also used in trading to determine potential price targets beyond the swing high or swing low. The most commonly used Fibonacci extension levels are 127.2%, 161.8%, 261.8%, and 423.6%. These levels provide traders with additional reference points for potential price objectives or areas where the price may encounter resistance or reversal.

Simple Moving Average (SMA)

The simple moving average may be used to identify price support and resistance levels in the forex market, especially if they are present on a longer time frame chart. On charts that use daily prices, it can be assumed that the SMA will act as a support or resistance point (depending on the direction in which prices are rising) for about three months.

To create a trading range for this length of time, traders can average the high, low and closing prices from this period together and draw lines that encompass all three points connected at an angle. The resulting points of the triangle indicate where traders can expect future support or resistance points to occur. To create a trading range with a shorter time frame, traders may average high and low prices from the last three months together and draw lines that encompass all three points connected at an angle.

Previous highs and lows

If the price of a security has been within a specific trading range for several periods and is now making new highs, it may be considered a key area of support or resistance. However, forex traders need to be aware that past levels are not always reliable in pointing to future levels.

In other words, traders must remain open minded and look at prices in the marketplace as they develop and seek to identify any supporting or acting as a resistance point. If the price has been trading in areas between certain previous highs and lows without moving outside of them for several weeks, this could act as a key support or resistance point.


A trendline is created by connecting two or more price points to form an upward or downward slope. Traders can use these lines to help identify trading range support and resistance points, but they should also be aware that price levels can eventually break out of established ranges due to the increased volatility of trends.

For example, if the market has been trending upwards for several weeks and then forms a sudden reversal and moves downwards, this will likely occur at one of the previously identified trendlines, which would now act as a trading range support point for several weeks until the price leaves this level again.

Bollinger Bands

Bollinger Bands are a popular technical analysis tool used in trading to analyze price volatility and identify potential trading opportunities. Developed by John Bollinger, this indicator consists of three lines plotted on a price chart.

The middle line is a simple moving average (SMA) that represents the average price over a specified period. The upper and lower bands are calculated by adding and subtracting a multiple of the standard deviation from the middle line. The standard deviation is a measure of price volatility.

The width of the Bollinger Bands expands and contracts based on market volatility. When the price is highly volatile, the bands widen, and when the market is less volatile, the bands narrow. Traders use this information to identify periods of low volatility, which may indicate a potential price breakout, and periods of high volatility, which may indicate a potential reversal or consolidation.

One common strategy is to look for price action near the bands. If the price reaches the upper band, it might be considered overbought, and a trader might consider selling or taking profits. Conversely, if the price reaches the lower band, it might be considered oversold, and a trader might consider buying or entering a long position.

Volume profile

Volume profile is a popular tool used by traders to identify support and resistance levels in the financial markets. It provides valuable insights into the distribution of trading activity at different price levels over a given period of time. By analyzing volume profile, traders can gain a deeper understanding of where significant buying and selling pressure exists, which can help them identify potential support and resistance areas.

The volume profile displays the volume traded at each price level as a histogram or a vertical bar on the price chart. The width of each bar corresponds to the amount of trading activity that has taken place at that specific price level. Areas with wider bars indicate higher trading volumes, suggesting increased market interest and potentially more significant support or resistance levels.

Horizontal support and resistance levels

Traders can look for horizontal support and resistance levels in the forex market by using price charts. These zones may be identified by looking at the maximum price that a security can move up or down with each rising or falling trend.

Traders will typically want to identify points where traders may expect a sudden shift in price, as this will help them determine whether they should be able to get involved in the trade once it develops. The horizontal support and resistance levels may also act as pivot points for future development of the price.

Price Gaps

If the price of a stock has been breaking through an established level for several weeks, this may indicate that there is extreme volatility in the forex market. Gaps are typically found at the end of trends and between trendlines. Traders can use these gaps to identify price resistance or support levels by looking at price development on a chart that shows previous price levels and using these points as anchors to draw lines connecting them.

The resulting level will act as strong support or resistance points in the forex market. The two areas may also be linked by a horizontal resistance or support line (since they assist in horizontal identification).


While it may seem as though forex traders have very little in common with stock traders, there are actually a number of aspects of both markets that are similar. Forex traders tend to use many of the same tools and indicators to make buying and selling decisions as stock traders do, and they also use some of the same methods for identifying support and resistance levels. Many forex traders will look at chart patterns in order to identify trading ranges, but they may also find a number of clues from other sources that are available on the internet, such as charts from financial websites or news reports.

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