Trading breakouts is one of the most tried and tested methods of trading the forex markets because when the price breaks out of an established trading range, it often continues to move strongly in that direction. Therefore there are some excellent profits to be made.
There are lots of different ways you can trade breakouts. You can wait for a quiet period of the day for instance when the price is barely moving and is confined to a very narrow range, and wait for a breakout to take place, or you can use bollinger bands and wait for them to narrow because this often precedes a strong breakout. However in this article I want to talk about a particular strategy that involves opening ranges.
I’ve been experimenting with this strategy on the GBP/USD and EUR/USD pairs recently and it seems to work very well. What you basically do is to look at the opening hours between 00.00 and 06.00 GMT (or 08.00 if the price is still within this range up until this time) and draw two horizontal lines marking the high and low points for this period.
Then you simply wait for the price to break out and close above (or below) one of these lines and take a corresponding long or short position. This method works well when there is a narrow opening range and the reason it works is simple. Every pair has an average daily range (the GBP/USD is roughly 220 points and the EUR/USD is roughly 180 points according to 2008 figures) so if the opening range is a small fraction of this number, then you know that there are a lot of points to be made either above or below the current opening range.
It’s not a method that can be used every day on a certain currency pair because sometimes the price will move quite substantially in the opening few hours, but it’s well worth putting into practice when the opening range is very narrow.
There are various ways you can actually trade this system. You can either jump in as soon as the breakout bar or candle closes, or if you want to place the odds substantially in your favour, you can wait for an initial breakout followed by a pull-back into this trading range, then trade the subsequent breakout (if there is one) because this continuation pattern is a very profitable signal.
Either way you should find that these strategies (or variants of these strategies) are generally very effective because the price will very often move strongly out of this opening range at some point during the day.