EditorEditor: Ida HermansenUpdated: October 17, 2023

Last Updated On October 17, 2023

Alison Heyerdahl

Understanding and utilizing technical analysis tools can make a significant difference in achieving success. Today, we will take a closer look at the often-overlooked but powerful technical analysis tool known as channels. Channels offer traders valuable insights into market trends, potential entry and exit points, as well as stop-loss and take-profit strategies. 





A channel is defined by a pair of trendlines that encapsulate price action over a specific period. This channel comprises an upper trendline, connecting swing highs, and a lower trendline, connecting swing lows. 

A channel basically consists of 4 contact points:

2 swing highs 

2 swing lows

Types of Channels

Channels come in three different forms:

Ascending Channels: These channels slope upwards, indicating a bullish trend where prices consistently make higher highs and higher lows.

Descending Channels: Conversely, descending channels slope downwards, reflecting a bearish trend characterized by lower highs and lower lows.

Horizontal Channels: Horizontal channels, also known as trading ranges or rectangles, feature trendlines that run parallel and horizontal, showcasing price consolidation and indecision.

Ascending and descending channels are often known as Trend channels because the price predominantly moves in one direction. 

In a channel the top line represents the resistance while the bottom line represents the support, and the price basically moves between these lines.

How to draw Channels

To draw a trading channel effectively, follow these steps:

Creating an Ascending Channel

  • Identify at least two or three recent peak points.
  • Utilize the channel drawing tool on your trading platform to draw a trendline connecting these peaks.
  • Draw a parallel line below, touching at least two ascending troughs.

Creating a Descending Channel

  • Begin by connecting recent troughs, with the most recent trough being the anchor point.
  • Draw a parallel line above, connecting descending peaks.

Utilizing Channels for Trading Signals

When you are using Channels as a part of your trading strategy, follow these rules for entering and exiting positions:

Sell your long position when the price approaches the upper channel boundary during an ascending channel, or take a short position.

If the price hovers within the middle of the channel, maintain your existing positions or stay on the sidelines if you have none.

In descending channels, cover your existing short position or take a long position.

Exceptions to the Rules

There are two exceptions to the rules mentioned above:

If the price breaks out of the channel’s boundaries, refrain from initiating new trades until a new channel forms.

In cases where the price oscillates within a channel for an extended period, a narrower channel may emerge. Trade near the extremes of this new channel.

Channel Analysis

To bolster the accuracy of trading signals and gauge the strength of price movements within channels, consider incorporating additional technical indicators:

Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD): Observe the MACD near-zero readings during horizontal channels, and look for potential long or short trades when the MACD line crosses the signal line.

Stochastic Oscillator: A stochastic crossover can indicate buying opportunities near the channel’s bottom or selling opportunities near the top.

Volume Analysis: Pay attention to volume fluctuations; breakouts often coincide with high volume, providing confirmation of price movements.

Setting Stop-Loss and Take-Profit Levels

Strategically placing stop-loss and take-profit levels within a channel-based trading strategy is crucial for risk management:

For long positions initiated at the bottom of the channel, set a take-profit level at the top of the channel and a stop-loss slightly below the channel’s bottom.

For short positions initiated at the top of the channel, take profit at the bottom of the channel and set a stop-loss slightly above the channel’s top.

Channel Reliability

Evaluating the reliability of a trading channel is pivotal in making informed trading decisions. Confirmations are an essential aspect of this assessment:

  • 1-2 rebounds: Weak channel (not tradeable)
  • 3-4 rebounds: Adequate channel (tradeable)
  • 5-6 rebounds: Strong channel (reliable)
  • 6 or more rebounds: Very strong channel (highly reliable)


In conclusion, trading channels represent a powerful tool for traders to identify trends, execute trades, and manage risk effectively. By recognizing the characteristics of ascending, descending, and horizontal channels and incorporating technical indicators, traders can make informed decisions and enhance their profitability. Remember that the reliability of a channel is directly related to the number of price rebounds within it.

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