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Falling Wedge Pattern

Updated on May 3, 2024
Article byKumar Rahul
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Falling Wedge Pattern Meaning

The falling wedge pattern is bullish in price charts and it suggests that the selling pressure is gradually diminishing, and a bullish continuation might occur after the pattern is completed. Traders aim to spot the pattern during a downtrend in the price chart of various financial instruments like stocks, currencies, commodities, and indices.

Falling Wedge Pattern Meaning

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Traders predict when the price will break above the pattern’s upper trendline. This breakout is considered a bullish signal and could be an opportunity to enter long positions (buy) with a higher price expectation. Traders aim to use the pattern and other technical analysis tools to plan their entry and exit points for potential trades.

Key Takeaways

  • The falling wedge pattern is a bullish chart pattern that can indicate a potential continuation of an uptrend or a reversal of a downtrend.
  • The pattern is characterized by two converging trendlines that slope downward, gradually narrowing the price range.
  • It is formed by a series of lower highs and higher lows, indicating a weakening downtrend and potential bullish sentiment.
  • Confirmation of the pattern is strengthened when there is a decrease in volume during the wedge formation and a volume surge during the breakout.

Falling Wedge Pattern Explained

The Falling Wedge is a bullish technical chart pattern that appears on price charts and is formed by two converging trendlines. It’s called a “falling” wedge because the trendlines slant downward, creating a wedge-like shape. This pattern usually develops during a downtrend and signals a potential bullish reversal or continuation of the previous uptrend.

Imagine drawing two lines on a price chart. The upper trendline connects a series of lower highs, while the lower trendline connects a sequence of higher lows. These trendlines converge over time, forming a narrowing wedge pattern. The price moves between these trendlines, with lower highs indicating selling pressure weakening and higher lows signaling buying support strengthening.

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Interpretation

  1. Downtrend Exhaustion: The falling wedge suggests that the sellers are losing momentum, and buyers are gradually gaining strength, resulting in a slowing downtrend.
  2. Potential Reversal: Traders see the falling wedge as a possible reversal pattern, indicating that the downtrend might end soon, and a bullish trend could follow.
  3. Bullish Breakout: The pattern is confirmed when the price breaks above the upper trendline, usually accompanied by increased trading volume. This breakout signals traders to enter long positions, expecting the price to rise further.

In the chart of Bitcoin given below, taken from TradingView, there is a falling wedge. Its lower highs and higher lows give it the shape of a wedge that is falling. This signifies a possibility of a downtrend in the coming future. Both the red upper and lower trendlines drawn in the image are slowly converging by narrowing down towards the end. As visible in the chart, the RSI is also falling, which is an additional indication of a bearish market. Therefore, traders must use it in combination with other indicators, to get clarity and confirmation and avoid losses by taking incorrect decisions.  

Falling Wedge Pattern Chart

Source

Examples

Let us understand it better with the help of examples:

Example #1

Imagine a fictional stock called “ABC Inc.” which has been in a downtrend for several weeks due to adverse market sentiment. As the week progresses, traders notice that the price of ABC Inc. is consistently making lower highs and lower lows, forming two converging trendlines. This price action creates a falling wedge pattern on the stock’s price chart.

Traders who spot this falling wedge pattern in the fictional stock “ABC Inc.” would see it as a potentially bullish signal. The lower highs indicate that the selling pressure is weakening, and the higher lows suggest that buying interest is increasing. Traders might anticipate a bullish breakout above the upper trendline, leading to a potential reversal of the downtrend or a continuation of the previous uptrend.

Example #2

In recent market development in 2023, Sumitomo Chemical India Ltd showed a remarkable 3% surge in its stock price after a falling wedge breakout. The breakout occurred as the stock chart displayed a falling wedge pattern, indicating potential bullish sentiment and a likely reversal of the previous downtrend.

The falling wedge pattern, a technical chart formation, is characterized by two converging trendlines that slope downward. During the construction of this pattern, the price experiences lower highs and higher lows, suggesting a gradual narrowing of the price range.

Analysts and traders had been closely monitoring Sumitomo Chemical India Ltd. as the pattern unfolded, and the breakout provided a promising signal for potential investors. This bullish move indicated that the downtrend might be losing momentum, with buyers potentially gaining stock control.

Market participants witnessed the breakout as the stock price decisively moved above the upper trendline of the falling wedge. The breakout was further confirmed by a substantial increase in trading volume, highlighting strong interest from buyers.

Traders who identified the pattern and acted upon the breakout seized the opportunity for long (buy) trades, anticipating further upward movement in Sumitomo Chemical India Ltd. In addition, risk management measures were implemented by placing stop-loss orders below the lower trendline to protect against any potential false breakouts or unexpected reversals.

How To Spot It?

To spot a falling wedge pattern on a price chart, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Select a financial instrument and timeframe: Choose a financial instrument, such as a stock, currency pair, commodity, or index, and decide on the timeframe one wants to analyze. The timescale can be anything from minutes to days or even longer, depending on the trading or investment strategy.
  • Step 2: Access a Price Chart: Use a trading platform or financial website that provides price charts for the chosen financial instrument. Popular charting platforms include TradingView, MetaTrader, Yahoo Finance, and Google Finance.
Falling Wedge Pattern

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  • Step 3: Identify Lower Highs and Higher Lows: Examine the price movements on the chart and identify a series of lower highs and higher lows. Lower highs are points, where the price reaches a high level but is lower than the previous high, and higher lows are points where the price reaches a low level but is higher than the previous low.
  • Step 4: Draw Trendlines: Once the lower highs and higher lows are identified, draw trendlines connecting them. The upper trendline should touch the lower highs, and the lower trendline should connect the higher lows. These trendlines should slope downward, creating a wedge-like shape.
  • Step 5: Confirm the Pattern: To confirm the falling wedge pattern, ensure the price has touched each trendline at least twice. The more touches the price has on each trendline, the more reliable the pattern is.
  • Step 6: Analyze Volume: During the formation of the falling wedge pattern, pay attention to the trading volume. Ideally, the volume should diminish as the pattern develops. Lower volume indicates reduced selling pressure, supporting the potential bullish scenario.

How To Trade?

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to trade in a falling wedge pattern:

  • Step #1 – Identify the Falling Wedge Pattern: First, identify a falling wedge pattern on the price chart of the chosen financial instrument. Look for a series of lower highs and higher lows, with converging trendlines that slope downward.
  • Step #2 – Confirm the Pattern: Ensure the price has touched each trendline at least twice to validate the falling wedge pattern. The more touches the price has on each trendline, the stronger the pattern is considered.
  • Step #3 – Set Entry Point: Plan the entry point for a long (buy) trade. The entry point is typically slightly above the upper trendline, above the last significant high before the potential breakout. This helps confirm the bullish momentum if the price moves above this level.
  • Step #4 – Set Stop-Loss: Place a stop-loss order below the lower trendline, just below the last significant low, before the potential breakout. The stop-loss helps protect the position if the pattern fails and the price continues to decline.
  • Step #5 – Confirm Breakout: Wait for a confirmed breakout. The breakout occurs when the price moves decisively above the upper trendline, preferably with a surge in trading volume. The increase in volume confirms the bullish sentiment.
  • Step #6 – Set Price Target: Determine the price target for the trade. One method is to measure the height of the widest part of the wedge (distance between the upper and lower trendlines) and project it upward from the breakout point.
  • Step #7 – Manage the Trade: Once the trade is active, monitor it closely. Consider adjusting the stop-loss as the price moves in your favor to lock in profits and protect against potential reversals.

Breakout

The breakout in a falling wedge pattern occurs when the price moves decisively above the upper trendline of the wedge. It is a critical moment in the pattern, confirming the potential bullish continuation or reversal of the previous downtrend. When the breakout happens, it signals a shift in market sentiment from bearish to bullish.

Characteristics Of A Breakout

  1. Confirmation: The breakout confirms that the falling wedge pattern has played out as expected, and the previous downtrend is losing steam. It suggests that buyers have gained control, and the price will likely increase.
  2. Volume Surge: A significant increase in trading volume often accompanies the breakout. The surge in volume indicates a strong interest from buyers, adding strength to the potential upward movement.
  3. Price Movement: The price usually makes a noticeable move above the upper trendline. The greater the distance between the breakout point and the upper trendline, the more convincing the breakout is.

Trading Implications

When the breakout occurs in a falling wedge pattern, it provides potential trading opportunities:

  1. Long (Buy) Trade: Traders who spot the confirmed breakout may consider opening long positions (buying) in the financial instrument. They anticipate that the price will rise as the bullish momentum prevails.
  2. Stop-Loss Placement: Traders typically place a stop-loss order just below the lower trendline of the falling wedge. This helps protect their position if the pattern fails and the price moves in the opposite direction.
  3. Price Targets: To estimate potential price targets, traders can measure the height of the widest part of the wedge (distance between the upper and lower trendlines) and project it upward from the breakout point. This provides an approximate target for potential profits.

False Breakouts

It’s essential to be cautious of false breakouts, where the price momentarily moves above the upper trendline but fails to sustain the upward movement. False breakouts can occur, especially during low liquidity or market uncertainty. To reduce the risk of falling for false breakouts, traders often wait for a confirmed breakout with a significant increase in trading volume.

Falling Wedge Pattern vs Descending Triangle

Let’s compare the falling wedge Pattern and the descending triangle pattern:

AspectFalling Wedge PatternDescending Triangle Pattern
ShapeWedge-like shape with converging trendlines that slope downward.Triangular shape with a horizontal lower trendline and a downward-sloping upper trendline.
Trend DirectionSet a stop-loss below the lower trendline to protect against the potential failure of the pattern.Set a stop-loss below the lower trendline to protect against the potential failure of the pattern.
Price MovementsLower highs and higher lows form within the pattern, indicating a gradual narrowing of the price range.Lower highs and relatively equal lows create a series of lower lows, resulting in a declining price range.
VolumeVolume tends to diminish as the pattern develops. Lower volume suggests reduced selling pressure.Volume often decreases as the pattern forms, indicating indecision between buyers and sellers. A volume surge usually occurs during the breakout.
Breakout DirectionBreakout is confirmed by increased trading volume and a decisive move above the upper trendline.A bullish breakout occurs when the price moves above the upper trendline.
Breakout ConfirmationMeasure the pattern’s height at its widest part and project it downward from the breakdown point for a price target.A bearish breakout happens when the price breaks below the lower trendline.
Trading ImplicationsSignals potential bullish continuation or reversal, providing an opportunity for long (buy) trades.Suggests the potential continuation of the bearish trend, offering opportunities for short (sell) trades.
Price TargetMeasure the height of the widest part of the wedge and project it upward from the breakout point for a price target.Set a stop-loss below the lower trendline to protect against the potential failure of the pattern.
Risk ManagementSet a stop-loss below the lower trendline to protect against potential failure of the pattern.Place a stop-loss above the upper trendline to manage risk in case of a false breakout.
ReliabilityConsidered a reliable pattern, especially when confirmed by volume and price movement.Relatively reliable, but it’s essential to watch for false breakouts and confirm the pattern with volume and price action.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can the falling wedge pattern occur in other timeframes and financial markets? 

The falling wedge pattern can appear in various timeframes and financial markets, including stocks, currencies, commodities, and indices. It applies to different needs and timeframes as long as the price chart displays the necessary lower highs and higher lows forming the wedge shape.

2. What are some potential risks when trading the falling wedge pattern? 

Some potential risks when trading the falling wedge pattern include false breakouts, where the price briefly moves above the upper trendline but fails to sustain the upward movement. Traders should always exercise caution, use stop-loss orders, and consider other market factors before trading.

3. Is the falling wedge pattern a guaranteed predictor of future price movements? 

The falling wedge pattern is not a guaranteed predictor of future price movements. While it provides valuable information about potential bullish scenarios, trading always involves risks, and various factors can influence price movements. Always use proper analysis and risk management, and consider the broader market context before trading.

This has been a guide to the Falling Wedge Pattern &its meaning. We explain its breakout, how to trade it, comparison with descending triangle, & examples. You can learn more about it from the following articles –