Forex Basic Strategies

A Brand New Forex Trading Strategy By Combining The ‘Flag & Pennant’ Patterns


Until now, we discussed a bunch of trading strategies that were based on numerous technical indicators. In today’s article, we discuss a strategy that is based on a candlestick pattern. Flags and Pennants are short-term continuation patterns where the market tends to continue moving in the same direction after the formation of the pattern on the chart. These patterns are found on both short-term and long-term charts.

In the case of Flag, the initial move is a sudden, sharp directional move. It is doesn’t matter where the move is formed on the chart; what matters here is the velocity of the move. If the movement is not sharp and large, the reliability of the pattern will be under question. However, it will also use the volume indicator to confirm the strength of the Flag and pattern. Let us understand all the specifications of the strategy in detail.

Time Frame

As mentioned earlier, the Pennant-Flag strategy can be traded on time frames varying from 15 min to ‘Daily.’


The only indicator we will be is the ‘Volume’ indicator. The rest of all is based on candlestick and price action patterns.

Currency Pairs

The strategy can only be used on major currency pairs listed on the broker’s platform. Few preferred pairs are EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, GBP/JPY, EUR/JPY, etc.

Strategy Concept

The strategy is based on the concept of the Pennant Candlestick Pattern. A sharp thrust creates a flagpole, and then when the market begins to consolidate into an asymmetric triangle, we wait for a breakout or breakdown. The consolidation is a brief pause before a potential break on either side. If the price clears the top of the ‘Pennant,’ we look for ‘long’ trades, and if breaks below the bottom of the ‘Pennant,’ we look for ‘short’ trades.

After a large vertical flagpole and a triangular consolidation, the market might be getting ready for a further continuation. The odds of a breakout increase when this pattern is accompanied by high volume. In a bullish flagpole, we place our ‘entry’ order above the ‘high’ of the flagpole, and in a bearish flagpole, we place our order below the ‘low’ of the Flag. Of course, when we enter, we’ll need to place a stop.

The stop is calculated by measuring the number of pips that is equivalent to 35-40 percent of the flagpole. For example, if the height of the flagpole is 100 pips, the stop will be placed 25 beneath the entry point.

Finally, we will need to define exits for our trade. Our first target will be equal to the number of pips that we are risking on the trade. Another strategy is to trail the stop-loss trade and exit when the market shows signs of reversal. Let us look at the specifics of the pattern and technique to make winning trades.

Trade Setup

In order to explain the strategy, we have considered the 4-hour chart of EUR/USD, where we will be illustrating a ‘long’ trade. Here are the steps to execute the strategy.

Step 1: The first step of the strategy is to wait for a sharp, sudden, and strong candle to show up on the chart. This usually happens after a major news announcement or after the release of economic data. This candle should compulsorily be with high volume as it indicates that big players of the market created this move. If the candle is not with high volume, the move cannot be trusted upon. We could use the economic calendar to find out the exact time of news release and the event.

In the below image, we can see a large candle that popped up after a news announcement that took the prices sharply higher.

Step 2: After the sudden move, prices should necessarily move in a triangular pattern, which is shrinking in nature. Few traders also refer to this as ‘squeeze.’ This pattern should be formed on the lower time frame. Market moving in this ‘squeeze’ pattern is very important for the strategy to work at its best. This leads to the formation of a Pennant candlestick pattern. Pennants involve two parts – a vertical flagpole and a triangular consolidation. The consolidation is usually for a shorter duration of time. Once the pattern has been formed along with the necessary conditions, let us see how to enter a trade.

The below image shows the formation of a Pennant candlestick pattern on the 1-hour chart.

Step 3: The rules of ‘entry’ are pretty simple. In a bullish setup, we place a ‘long’ entry order just above the ‘high’ of the ‘flagpole’ candle formed on the higher time frame. In a bearish setup, we place a ‘short’ entry order just below the ‘low’ of the ‘flagpole’ candle. As and when the market continues to move in the direction of the ‘flagpole,’ the order will automatically be executed.

In the case of our EUR/USD example, our ‘buy’ order gets executed as soon as prices start moving higher.

Step 4: Now, let us define the exit rules for the strategy. The stop-loss is calculated by the number of pips equal to 35-40 percent of the ‘flagpole.’ Stop-loss is placed below the entry price equivalent to the pips obtained by calculation. The ‘take-profit’ is set a price where the resultant risk to reward of the trade is 1:1. Therefore, the take-profit is determined by the stop-loss. Another exit strategy is to trail the stop loss and exit after we witness a reversal pattern in the market.

Strategy Concept

The idea behind this technique is not to place most trades but to place the best trades. The most crucial aspect of the trade is the ‘Flagpole’ candle. We need to ensure that this candle is a consequence of a major news announcement and not just a normal candle. Many traders become impatient and enter even though all criteria have not been met. Patience and discipline will help us to avoid falling into this trap and keep us on the course.

Forex Course

114. How To Trade Bearish & Bullish Pennant Patterns


The Pennant is both a bullish and bearish continuation pattern that is used by technical analysts across the globe. This pattern can easily be identified on the price chart and is typically used for trading the upcoming price movements. In an ongoing trend, when the instrument experiences a significant upward or downward movement, followed by a brief consolidation, the Pennant pattern is formed.

Pennant Pattern’s Key Characteristics

A Flagpole The Pennant pattern always begins with a flagpole, and that is the initial strong move.

Breakout Level – Two breakouts should occur in this pattern. The first one will be at the end of the flagpole, and the second one should be after the consolidation period.

The Pennant Itself A triangular pattern is formed when the market consolidates between the flagpole and the breakout, and we call that a Pennant.

How To Trade The Pennant Pattern?

The Pennant is a relatively simple and easy-to-spot pattern on the price charts. We will find this pattern on all the timeframes, and the strategies that we are going to discuss will work on any timeframe you trade. In the below examples, we have used 15 minutes, Daily, and Weekly charts to prove the same. All you need to do is to train your eyes well to spot the pattern. Once we master this pattern, we can easily increase the probability of our winning trades.

Trading The Bullish Pennant Pattern

Example 1

In the below EUR/GBP chart, we have identified the formation of a Bullish Pennant Pattern.

We must always look to take long or short positions depending on the breakout in the Pennant chart pattern. If we find a bullish Pennant pattern, we must wait for the price action to break out in the north direction to take a buy trade.

In the below chart, you can see that when have placed a buy order after the price action broke the Pennant’s upper trend line. The take-profit should be placed at the higher timeframe’s resistance area, whereas the stop-loss order should be below the lower trend line. The best part about trading this pattern is that it offers a good risk to reward ratio, and most of the trades hit the targets within a few hours.

Example 2

In the below AUD/NZD chart, we have found another Bullish Pennant pattern.

Here, we can see the market has started a new downtrend, and we have placed a buy order right after the price broke the upper trend line. We can see our trade hitting the TP within a few hours. If we find this pattern in active trading hours, or when any trading session is about to begin, it is advisable to take bigger trades because opening trading hour breakouts have higher chances of succeeding.

Trading The Bearish Pennant Pattern

In the image below, you can see that we have identified a Bearish Pennant pattern on the GBP/NZD pair.

In the below chart, we can see that a brand new downtrend has just begun. The first leg of the pattern (flagpole) was quite strong. When the price action broke below the lower trend line, it is an indication for us to go short in this pair. The take-profit is as placed as same as the size of the flagpole, and stop-loss was just above the pattern formation.

That’s about Bullish and Bearish Pennant pattern and how to trade them along with appropriate risk management. Following money management principles is as crucial as entering the market at the right time. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments below. Cheers!

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