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For technical analysts (or chartists), price charts serve as their language of the financial markets, unearthing irreplaceable real-time data. A chart reflects information regarding price movement, with a simple analysis highlighting trending and rangebound markets. Today’s digital age has witnessed TradingView emerge as a leading charting provider, renowned for empowering traders with a robust yet user-friendly interface to decipher these visual narratives.
TradingView houses several charting features, therefore the scope of this article will be focussed on the key charting concepts; think of it as a stepping stone for beginners to get started using charts on TradingView.
Charting Basics for Beginners
First and foremost, you must understand how to select markets of interest on TradingView. This can be done through the Symbol Search tab, which highlights the markets and individual securities available on the platform, as shown in Figure 1 and Figure 1A.
Do note that you also have the option of creating a Watchlist with TradingView by clicking the Watchlist tab on the right side of the platform (red arrow) and then clicking the + tab (orange arrow) to open the Symbol Search function to begin forming a Watchlist (see Figure 1B). You can also create new lists alongside your Watchlist by choosing the Watchlist drop-down button and selecting ‘Create new list’.
In Figure 2, you will acknowledge a chart of Apple (ticker: AAPL) on the daily timeframe. You can adapt the timeframes to suit by clicking on the ‘D’ tab (shown in Figure 1C), revealing a selection of different timeframes, from ‘second’ timeframes to ‘12-month’ timeframes. A timeframe is simply the period selected for the chart. If you select the 1-hour chart, a candle will form each hour, for example.
As Figure 2 is a time-series price chart, represented through candlesticks, the x-axis will contain the date and time (for charts using lower timeframes, you will find the x-axis in minutes and hours), while the y-axis reflects the price of the stock, which is $191.56 as of writing.
The candlestick chart forms through OHLC data with real bodies on each formed candle (the range between open and close). Figure 2 is configurated such that a bullish candle is coloured in white and a bearish candle in black (this can be modified in the Chart Settings [right-click chart > select Symbol > alter candle body, borders and wicks to suit]), as illustrated below in Figure 1D.
Figure 2A highlights how to modify the chart type. Clicking on the Candlestick visual (the visual may change depending on what was selected before), you are presented with various chart types, from the basic line chart and bar chart to area charts and point and figure charts. The selection available is varied and allows the trader much-needed flexibility.
What’s also interesting about TradingView’s charts is the chart layout function. As shown in Figure 2B, you can have up to 16 charts per tab, enabling multi-timeframe analysis.
Traders and investors regularly employ the use of technical indicators to help complement trading ideas. Indicators range from basic moving averages that filter price action and help identify trending markets to more advanced indicators, such as the Relative Strength Index (which measures momentum), the Average Directional Index (gauges the strength of the trend) and Bollinger Bands (an indicator used to determine the volatility of a security). More than 400 built-in indicators and strategies are available on TradingView and over 100,000 public indicators.
The great thing about TradingView is not only the vast array of accessible indicators but also the ease with which one can apply these indicators to their chosen charts.
To demonstrate, using the same daily chart of AAPL, we apply a Simple Moving Average (SMA) to the chart: click on the ‘Indicators’ tab and a menu will appear, as demonstrated in Figure 3. By selecting ‘Technicals’ within the menu, you will have access to the technical indicators available on TradingView. As you can see, there are also indicators for financials (equity analysis), a section for Scripts (trading strategies and indicators created by the TradingView community) and a function to mark any indicator as a favourite to help you locate favourite indicators when required.
Figure 3A shows that by typing in ‘Moving Average’ in the Indicator search function, a list of moving averages is subsequently displayed. Selecting ‘Moving Average Simple’ from here will apply this Moving Average to the chart of AAPL, from which the user is then free to alter its settings to suit by right-clicking the Moving Average superimposed on the chart and picking ‘Settings’. Figure 3B shows that you can adapt the length of the Moving Average, and the Source (which means the calculation source; so, if you want the calculation to be configured to closing prices, select ‘Close’). You can also change the Style of the Moving Average by selecting ‘Style’ and modifying the colour and line shape.
Drawing tools are a MUST for technical analysts who focus on price action. Fortunately, TradingView’s offering is vast and largely provides all that is required to conduct in-depth analysis. As demonstrated in Figure 4, the main toolbar is situated on the left side of the interface. You are also free to create a tailored toolbar. For your favourite tools, check the star next to the tool of interest and a separate toolbar will appear that can be relocated around the chart’s interface for convenience.
A screener is in place to scan and filter trading instruments based on pre-defined criteria. With TradingView, you can access Stock screeners, Forex screeners as well as Crypto and ETF (Exchange-Traded Fund) screeners. From the Products tab on the main webpage of TradingView, you will find all these screeners available for use (Figure 5).
To connect your account to TradingView you will need to create a TradingView account—the signup process with TradingView is straightforward. Once you have completed this, you can connect your live cTrader account to TradingView by clicking on TradingView’s Trading Panel and selecting FP Markets, as exhibited in Figure 6.
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