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Price Charts with a Time Base
Article Reviewed on November 30, Gordon Scott Updated November 30, Bar charts are one of the most popular trading chart types. They provide a lot of information that the day trader can use when making trading decisions and are relatively easy to read and interpret.
- Bar Chart Definition and Uses
- Option designation
Bar charts consist of an opening foot—facing left—a vertical line, and a closing foot—facing right. Each bar includes the open, high, low, and close price that occurred during a specific interval, set by the trader.
For example, if a day trader opts to view a 1-minute bar chart, then a new bar will form every minute, and each bar will show the open, high, low, and close price for each minute. The interval can also be something other than time, such as a specific number of transactions.
Bar charts are often called OHLC charts open-high-low-close charts to distinguish these charts from more traditional bar charts used to depict other types of data.
When a chart displays transactions it is called a tick chart. Here, a new bar forms when a certain number of transactions have trading types of bars for the stock or asset being charted.
Bar charts also show the direction of movement—upward or downward—in the price, as well as how far the price moved during the bar. Day traders can then assess how the price is moving based on the bar chart.
When a trader makes trading decisions based on those price bars, they are called price action traders.
The former is more popular and includes information on the open Ohigh Hlow Land close C price. Whereas the HLC chart just includes information on high, low, and close.
Other Types of Signal Bars and Patterns
Open The open is the first price traded during the bar and is indicated by the trading types of bars foot on the left side of the bar.
High The high is the highest price traded during the bar and is indicated by the top of the vertical bar.
Low The low is the lowest price traded during the bar trading types of bars is indicated by the bottom of the vertical bar. Close The close is the last price traded during the bar and is indicated by the horizontal foot on the right side of the bar.
Direction and Range The direction the price has moved during the bar is indicated by the locations of the opening and closing feet. If the closing foot is above the opening foot then the price made upward progress during the bar. If the closing foot is below the opening foot then the price made downward progress during the bar.
- Other Types of Signal Bars and Patterns If, for example, we have an upward breakout during a downward trend, the traders usually place a buy order above the inside bar and a sell order below it.
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The range of the bar is indicated by the locations of the top and bottom of the vertical bar. Final Word It takes a bit of practice to get used to reading a bar chart, especially when the price is moving very quickly.
Remember the open is always on the left, and close always appears on the right like how you read: the right to left because the open always comes before the close. The vertical part of the bar represents how high and low the price went during the interval of the bar.
- Closing Price Compared to the Range The range is the distance between the high and the low on a bar.
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A bar chart can also typically include volume—how many shares, forex lots, or futures contracts are changing hands on each bar. Therefore, it is also recommended you understand buying and selling volume when reading a bar chart.