Double Top Pattern in Forex
In this article
The double top pattern in forex belongs to chart patterns in technical analysis.
If a financial instrument’s price shows a double top or bottom, it can indicate a possible reversal in the price trend or a lack of progress in the current direction.
Double bottoms indicate an end to the bearish trend, whereas the double top suggests the bullish trend line.
Traders can use various tools and technical indicators to aid their decision-making.
This article will provide educational content on the double top pattern in trading, how to spot it in price charts, and trade it.
Double top chart pattern: What is it?
A trader’s technical analysis trading strategy can benefit from double bottoms and tops.
Candlestick patterns form a double top when a price makes a high, pulls back, creates a swing low, and moves back to near the previous high. If the price drops below the swing low formed between the two peaks, this pattern indicates a bearish reversal.
There are many uses for candlestick charts since they display highs and lows for each price bar. In addition, double top patterns remain valid until broken, which does not necessarily indicate a trend reversal.
There is a huge possibility that the price may rise above the highs. As seen below, a double top can be seen on a Brent Crude oil price chart.
Example of a double top on a Brent Crude oil price chart
What does the double top chart pattern indicate?
Because there are two major pieces of bearish evidence for the double top chart pattern, it indicates a bearish reversal. First, according to the above chart, the second attempt price cannot move above the first high since resistance is present at the highs.
A new swing low is created when the price falls below the previous swing low.
Instead of indicating an uptrend, these chart pattern signals indicate a downtrend. A double top pattern requires lower swing lows when a downtrend is present.
A double top signals an uptrend’s end, a bearish reversal pattern. As well as a neckline acting as local support, it forms two price highs at the same level. Short positions are opened after the price breaks below the neckline.
How do you determine if a top has double tops?
It would help if you found the resistance level to detect double touch or double top. A double price top occurs when the price bounces back from the resistance level a second time. The strong resistance level prevents the price from breaking through.
Finding a valid double top is as simple as following the steps below.
- There must be a bullish trend before forming a double top or M pattern on a candlestick chart.
- At the high point of a double top, mark a resistance zone
- To get to the lowest point of the double top, mirror that Resistance zone.
What is the neckline in the double top?
Charts always show price movements in the form of swing waves. We have to draw the resistance zone on the swing wave’s highs that formed a double top. We have to draw the support zone on the swing wave’s low. The support zone and neckline are referred to as the support zone in the double top chart pattern.
A valid neckline breakout is necessary for a double top chart pattern to be completed as long as the trend remains bullish, and with a valid neckline or support zone breakout, the price can break through the resistance zone.
When the support level breaks, the buyers lose momentum, and the sellers are on hold.
The three types of double top formation
Let’s talk about the three significant double-top formation styles:
- Double Top reversal with the Same Swing High.
- Double Top with a Higher High.
- Double Top with a Lower High.
Double tops with the same swing high
People tend to look for double tops with the same swing highs because they’re easily recognised on the charts.
The Double Top is evident in the chart above, with the two tops around the same level.
It is possible to have Double Tops with higher tops and Double Tops with lower tops. And that somehow leads us to the following two significant formations.
The chart on Double Tops with the Same Swing High
Double tops with a higher high
There is no such thing as the Double Top with a Higher High. The second peak must not be much higher than the first peak to be considered a Double Top with a higher high.
As long as it’s significantly higher, the market would be making higher highs typically rather than a Double Top.
We can also consider the second peak in the chart above as a Double Top because it is higher than the first, but not by a significant amount.
The second peak in the chart below is much higher than the first. A Double Top is more likely to form a normal trend wave as it forms higher highs than a double top.
Don’t blame me if you get stopped out immediately because you were mistaken about it being a Double Top!
Thus, as a general rule, you should not be short if the market makes higher highs in the above chart.
It indicates strong uptrend momentum when such a move occurs.
The chart on Double Tops with a Higher High
Double tops with a lower high
There are times when the market does not form a Higher High in an uptrend. It is known as a lower high.
It can indicate a loss of momentum and a shift sideways or even a trend reversal. Thus, this is still a Double Top with a lower high, even though it’s not much lower. Similarly, we don’t want one of the tops of the Double Top to be too far from the first peak.
Going short may be viable in some cases, but this is not a double top for our purposes.
You must correctly identify double top patterns to stay helpful for the traders. Traders who fail to detect them will be unable to profit from them. When a trader can identify a double top pattern on time, it can be highly effective for making decisions for financial markets.
When dealing with technical analysis in forex trading, it is vital to play it safe and not jump to conclusions too soon.
The Double top: how to use it?
The market might form a double top pattern when it reaches the overbought level; local support is found when the price retreats from the first peak. However, the pattern isn’t visible at this point.
In response to the first peak, the price has pulled back to the neckline (support) and has bounced back to test the newly formed resistance. It will form a second peak if it can’t break above it. When it breaks below the neckline, traders should look for the downtrend and prepare to short.
You can use the same strategies for double bottoms but with inverted rules.
Do the double top and double bottom work for crypto trading?
Yes, without a doubt! All markets, including cryptocurrency, work well with these two patterns. However, these patterns may appear less frequently than in the forex market, for instance! Nevertheless, they are just as valuable when you see them on a chart.
In the cryptocurrency trading community, technical analysis plays a significant role, and chart patterns often provide the most powerful signals, primarily when used with technical indicators.
Therefore, although cryptocurrencies are more volatile and unpredictable, cryptocurrency traders should be cautious.
You can use these two patterns on various timeframes, such as M15, H1, H4, or D1. Swing traders can use them, day traders and position traders. A universal pattern also works well on stocks, forex pairs, commodities, and cryptocurrencies.
They offer their metrics but come with their drawbacks as well. For example, one of the main disadvantages of the double top and bottom is that neither can consolidate the newly formed trend.
If the price dips below the support for the third time, the bears might attempt to break below it for the fourth time. So, you need to use a stop-loss.
Differences between the double top and double bottom
In terms of their fundamental nature, the Double Top and Double Bottom pattern have little in common other than that they are at opposing ends of the spectrum.
The double bottom pattern is suitable for bulls, while the other is suitable for bears since the latter signifies a bearish reversal trend. The double top and double bottom patterns have many other significant differences
Two major high points on either side of the neckline are positioned at almost the same level. The neckline represents local support at this time.
As the crypto market expands, the approach for trading cryptocurrencies on large timeframes may differ. The double bottom formation happens more often since the market is trying to expand.
Trading with a double top pattern: Mistakes to avoid
Trading the double top can lead to one of the most common mistakes: going long immediately when the price breaks above the pattern’s neckline. It’s possible, however, to trade forex against a larger prevailing trend if you’re not cautious.
It is more likely that the market will ignore the small Double top pattern if it is in the middle of the strong bearish trend.
You can avoid this by adding Moving Average (MA) with period 20. Buying the neckline breakout is not recommended if the price is below the MA. If you are trading the double top, ensure the price does not exceed 20 MA.
Involvement of risk management in double top pattern
Although double tops are highly reliable, they cannot always guarantee trend reversals. There are various basic techniques that you can use to mitigate the risks involved so that you do not experience significant losses that might affect your entire account.
One of the major steps to reducing loss risks is to place a stop-loss order. Stop-loss should be set at the intersection of the double top breakout (neckline level) and resistance (for a Double Top) or support level (for a Double Bottom).
You are recommended not to use more than 1% of your balance per trade to promote consistency. A great rule of thumb is never to simultaneously use more than 1% of your balance.
The forex market may be volatile, and you may be tempted to go all in to hit the jackpot. Unfortunately, although you might be lucky once, such a practice is not guaranteed to work long-term.
1. A double top tells you what?
Many traders trade double bottoms and tops to analyse market trends. The shape of a double top resembles an M, indicating a bearish trend reversal. Conversely, ‘W’ shaped double bottoms signal a strong bullish trend.
2. What is the accuracy of the double top pattern?
Double tops are defined as two nearly equal highs, separated by some space, whereas double bottoms are defined as two nearly equal lows. Double bottoms are slightly more successful breakout patterns than double tops; 78.55 percent of the time, they reach their targets compared to 75.01% of the time.
3. How long does it take for a double top to form?
It remains to be confirmed whether the pattern exists. There is usually a period between peaks of 1-3 months, but this can vary. Although the exact peak dates are ideal, some wiggle room is allowed. Most of the time, a peak 3% higher than the previous high is adequate!
4. What is the ideal time to trade a double top?
Traders can trade double tops and double bottoms to identify a trend reversal. However, the reversal cannot be confirmed until two peaks or lows are formed.
Traders who can identify and manipulate the double top pattern information in time can profit from one of the most commonly occurring patterns in forex charts.
A health plan or trading strategy must tread the market and trade it successfully using these patterns. Practice a demo account or search for the formations on historical charts to improve your trading skills. Always pay attention to technical indicators, including the indicator of overbought and oversold levels.
You can identify this pattern by using charts and indicators at the right time and utilising it to your advantage to further your trading experience.
Jason Morgan is an experienced forex analyst and writer with a deep understanding of the financial markets. With over 13+ years of industry experience, he has honed his skills in analyzing and forecasting currency movements, providing valuable insights to traders and investors.
Forex Content Writer | Market Analyst