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Learning to Trade a Bear Flag Pattern

Sample recognition is a cornerstone of technical evaluation and probably the most helpful instruments for merchants working in monetary markets. The bear flag sample has lengthy been a preferred and dependable buying and selling sign utilized by technical merchants within the markets to establish the seemingly continuation of a downtrend. 

It doesn’t matter in the event you choose to commerce foreign exchange, shares or commodities, since studying about buying and selling bear flag patterns can profit operators in all monetary markets. All you want is a value or alternate fee chart and a pointy eye to doubtlessly revenue from figuring out this widespread and dependable chart sample. 

On this article, Benzinga examines the definition and that means of a bearish flag sample, find out how to establish the sample on an alternate fee chart and the constraints of bear flag buying and selling. The article additionally features a concrete instance of buying and selling foreign exchange utilizing a preferred bear flag technique and examines how bear flags examine with bull flags.

What’s a Bear Flag Sample?

Within the technical evaluation of economic markets, a flag is a basic sample showing on a chart that exhibits a decent consolidation within the value or alternate fee motion of a tradable asset after a pointy directional motion. The consolidation part of a flag sample can encompass a horizontal vary or a weak counter-trend channel enclosed by parallel development traces. 

Schematic diagram of a bear flag chart sample. Supply: Study.ByBit.com

Because the schematic diagram above exhibits, the preliminary a part of a flag sample appears to be like considerably like a flag with the sharp motion making up the mast or flagpole and the next consolidation sample representing the flag. The flag sample usually completes in a second sharp transfer in the identical course because the flagpole and to roughly the identical extent as the peak of the flagpole. 

Flags are thought of continuation patterns by technical analysts since they often additional the prevailing development. Flag patterns can be utilized to establish the seemingly extent of the continuation of a pointy development after the worth has briefly consolidated or traded in opposition to the unique development. 

A bull flag happens in an upwards development and is a bullish chart sample. In distinction, a bear flag is a bearish chart sample that happens in a downtrend. 

The picture beneath exhibits an instance of a basic bear flag sample on a candlestick chart. The sample begins with the declining flagpole, adopted by the intervening consolidation interval or flag. After the draw back breakout happens, the sample then completes with a subsequent downward motion of comparable magnitude to the flagpole. 

Candlestick chart displaying a bear flag. Supply: IG.com.

Understand that if a bear flag is famous on a chart, and the general downtrend resumes, the anticipated value decline as soon as the flag breakout happens might be very fast. Which means that quickly initiating a brief place on the proper time after figuring out the flag sample will be important to buying and selling a bear flag sample profitably.  

Tips on how to Determine a Bear Flag Sample on Foreign exchange Charts

Bear flag patterns are pretty straightforward to establish on foreign exchange charts. The diagram beneath exhibits a bearish flag sample occurring on the hourly alternate fee chart for EUR/USD. 

Bear flag showing on an hourly candlestick chart for EUR/USD. Supply: ThinkMarkets.com 

On this instance, the alternate fee initially falls from across the 1.1000 space in a robust down transfer to the 1.0900 space to kind the flagpole. This creates a goal size of 1.1000-1.0900 = 0.0100 for the measured transfer anticipated after the bear flag’s consolidation part concludes.  
After the flagpole types, the alternate fee then rises total in a consolidative method throughout the counter-trend flag transfer, though if the flag had risen greater than half of the flagpole, the sample would have been disregarded. The alternate fee then breaks firmly beneath the flag’s decrease channel line with a purple candle that closes beneath the 1.0936 degree. 

The take-profit goal for the next decline is computed because the distinction between the breakout degree and the measured transfer or 1.0936-0.0100 = 1.0836. Cease losses can then be positioned safely above the 1.0936 degree and ideally above the highest of the flag’s consolidation sample. 

What Does a Bear Flag Sample Imply?

A bear flag sample has a transparent that means to a savvy technical dealer. The well-known dynamics and reliability of the bear flag sample permit a dealer to ascertain an goal technique for benefiting from the sample. 

The dealer can do that by figuring out 4 key factors: entry, cease loss and two potential revenue targets.  These factors are proven on the schematic bear flag diagram beneath.

A schematic diagram of a bear flag displaying a four-point buying and selling technique. Supply: Study.ByBit.com

Every of those 4 factors is summarized within the bullet factors beneath:

  • Entry Level: Await an preliminary breakout to keep away from buying and selling on a false sign. This may be signaled by a closing candle occurring beneath the decrease line of the flag’s channel. 
  • Cease Loss Level: The extent of the flag channel’s higher development line marks a fairly secure place to place your cease loss above. Within the earlier part’s instance, the higher development line of the EUR/USD bear flag channel was across the 1.0950 degree when the draw back breakout occurred, so 1.0975 may have been an acceptable stop-loss degree to make use of when buying and selling that sample. 
  • Take Revenue Goal Level #1: A conservative technique to set an preliminary take revenue degree can be to measure the distinction between the parallel traces of the flag’s channel after which challenge that distinction downwards from the breakout level since that’s how technical analysts usually commerce channels. Within the above instance, the higher line of the channel was at 1.0950, whereas the decrease line was at 1.0935. The distinction of 15 pips or 0.0015 would then be projected downwards from the 1.0935 breakout degree to present an preliminary profit-taking goal of 1.0920. 
  • Take Revenue Goal Level #2: A extra conventional technique to take income after a bear flag breakout includes measuring the vertical top of the flagpole after which projecting that downwards from the breakout level. Within the previous instance, the flagpole begins at round 1.1000 and ends at round 1.0900 the place the corrective flag begins. The peak is the distinction between these ranges or 0.0100. For the reason that flag’s breakout level was 1.0935, the perfect profit-taking goal can be 1.0935-0.0100 or 1.0835 in that occasion. 

To optimize their probabilities for achievement, merchants utilizing the bear flag sample will moreover need to take note of the prevailing market development and quantity patterns. They’ll need to use a prudent place sizing methodology to make sure that they’re taking dangers appropriate for his or her account measurement and danger tolerance. 

Instance of a Bear Flag Buying and selling Technique

The picture beneath exhibits a bear flag occurring on an precise candlestick chart. You’ll be aware that the textual content showing on the picture factors out the sharply declining flagpole. The peak of this flagpole is used for measuring the chart sample’s last goal. 

Picture of a candlestick chart of USD/CAD displaying a bear flag. Supply: IG.com

The above picture additionally has the flag’s upward-sloping channel highlighted in a blue shaded shade and the draw back breakout level encircled in orange for readability. Lastly, it exhibits how the peak of the flag pole is projected downwards from that breakout degree to find out the utmost value goal for taking income. 

The next instance will illustrate intimately find out how to commerce the above-pictured bear flag sample showing on a chart of the USD/CAD forex pair’s alternate fee.

The flag pole began in 2019 on the 1.3650 January 3 excessive and fell sharply to conclude on the January 9 low of 1.3180 for a complete size of 0.0470. The next upward flag consolidation channel is highlighted in blue. 

The flag sample turns into more and more obvious as that upwards channel develops over the latter half of January. Understand that the flag mustn’t exceed a  50% retracement of the previous flagpole transfer. 

As soon as the decrease rising trendline of the flag’s channel breaks to the draw back at across the 1.3300 degree in late January, then that units up the perfect alternate fee goal. You may deduct the 0.0470 top of the flag pole from the 1.3300 breakout degree to find out the bear flag sample’s final alternate fee goal of 1.2830.  

On this instance, the bear flag sample missed its goal degree by 170 pips in early February 2019 and began rising once more from the 1.3000 degree. This illustrates each the sensible danger of remaining stubbornly hooked up to a chart sample’s goal degree and the significance of psychological assist factors just like the 1.3000 degree that may simply frustrate your theoretical technical aims. 

Bear Flag vs. Bull Flag

A bear flag and a bull flag are mainly the identical chart sample, however they happen in several market instructions. The bear flag happens as a continuation sample in a declining or bearish market, whereas the bull flag additionally happens as a continuation sample however in a rising or bullish market.  

The next set of schematic diagrams illustrates the distinction between bull and bear flags.

Schematics of a bull flag and a bear flag proven for comparability functions. Supply: Libertex.com

You’ll be aware that each of those basic and dependable chart patterns have an preliminary flagpole and that each have a subsequent consolidation part or flag that happens between parallel channel traces.  Each even have a concluding breakout in the identical course because the preliminary flagpole transfer that means take-profit factors which might be measured to comparable extents.  

Mainly, buying and selling these two basic chart patterns includes taking very comparable steps, simply on reverse sides of the market. 

Utilizing Quantity to Affirm a Bear Flag Sample

Transaction quantity is usually utilized by extra refined technical analysts to assist verify basic chart patterns just like the bear flag because it tends to have a attribute related quantity sample. 

Quantity tends to extend initially throughout the bearish flagpole’s formation after which decline throughout the flag consolidation part. The quantity will then usually surge throughout the breakout and may rise throughout the last decline till it begins to wane once more close to the sample’s completion level. 

Merchants observing a possible bear flag formation will due to this fact usually search for sturdy quantity occurring throughout the flagpole’s formation. This exhibits total bearish sentiment exists out there. 

When the market then begins to consolidate to create the counter-trend flag portion of the sample, transaction quantity ought to slacken off significantly because the flag types. This displays the comparatively modest shopping for curiosity out there at and simply above the bottom ranges that the flagpole’s transfer achieved.

Whereas quantity would possibly really rise within the flag consolidation part for shares as a result of elevated investor nervousness, the quantity noticed throughout a flag consolidation part will usually decline for forex pairs because the psychology driving up and down tendencies is mostly extra balanced within the foreign exchange market. 

Seeing such quantity observations in follow can strengthen a technical analyst’s speculation that the upcoming market transfer shall be a pointy decline because the suspected bear flag sample completes its measured transfer. 

Commerce Bear Flag Patterns with These High Brokers

If you’re fascinated by utilizing bear flags and different basic chart patterns to commerce the foreign exchange market as a retail dealer, then you’ll most likely want an internet dealer to deal with your transactions. Benzinga has made that dealer choice course of simpler by compiling a comparability desk of among the finest and most respected on-line foreign exchange brokers in your evaluate. 

Declare Unique Presents

  • CedarFX just isn’t regulated by any main monetary company. The brokerage is owned by Cedar LLC and based mostly in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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Continuously Requested Questions


Is a bear flag bullish or bearish?


Because the identify implies, a bear flag is taken into account a bearish chart sample.


Can a bear flag be bullish?


Usually no since a bear flag is a bearish chart sample that means a downtrend will proceed.


How dependable are bear flags?


Whereas no chart sample is infallible, bear flags are one of many extra dependable chart patterns, though if the retracement or “flag” extends past 50% of the pole, the sample needs to be disregarded as failed.

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