Forex Basic Strategies

Understanding The N-period Narrow Range Trading Strategy


There are three states in the market – trend state, channel state, and range state. A trending market is the one where the market makes higher highs or lower lows, and a ranging market is a state where the price goes through a consolidation phase. The channels can be considered as a particular case of range as they work similarly to a range, but are tilted.

What is consolidation?

To understand this strategy, we must first understand the concept of consolidation. Consolidation is a technical term in trading where the market loses momentum and starts to move in the form of a range.


A common tendency of the market is that, when the price starts to move in a range and begins to consolidate, it prepares blast in one of the sides. So, people always keep an eye on currency pairs, which are in a consolidation phase.

N-Period Narrow Range

In the N-period narrow range, the period N takes two values –4 and 7. So, we have the 4-period narrow range and the 7-period narrow range. These two are also referred to as the NR4 (Narrow Range 4) and the NR7 (Narrow Range 7).

The NR4 and NR7 trading strategy

This strategy is basically a modified range breakout strategy where the market consolidates in the beginning and then blasts out of a narrow range.

In NR4, number 4 refers to the period under consideration. That is, for NR4, the last four days are taken into consideration, and for NR7, the last seven days are taken into account.

What is the NR4 and NR7 strategy?

It is a breakout trading technique where we consider the last four or sever days to apply this strategy. And in these four or seven days, we compare the range of all these days and determine if the current day is an NR4 or NR7 day. Once we obtain the NR4 or NR7 day, we gear up to go long or short.

Calculating the range

Firstly, to trade this strategy, consider the candlestick chart on the daily timeframe. The range of a particular day is calculated as the difference between the high price and the low price.

What is the NR4 day and the NR7 day?

NR4 day

In layman’s terms, the least fluctuated day (4th day) in the recent four days is called the NR4 day. Technically, it is the day whose range is the smallest out of the previous four trading days.

NR7 day

Similarly, when the 7th day in the last seven days moves the least number of pips, it is referred to as the NR7 day.

How to trade the NR4/NR7 strategy?

Following is a set by step procedure to trade this strategy:

  1. Find the high and low of the last few days (seven for NR7 and four for NR4).
  2. Calculate the range (high – low) for each day under consideration.
  3. Compare these range values with the previous days.
  4. Determine if the present day is an NR4 or NR7 day. If so, then wait for the price to break out of the high or low of the NR4/NR7 day.

If the market breaks above the high, then it is an indication for a buy, or if it breaks below the low, then it is an indication for a sell.

Illustration to trade the N-period Narrow Range

Trading the NR4/NR7 strategy is simple. But, as far as the consistency of this strategy is concerned, one can make more out of this strategy only when the NR4/NR7 day appears in the right location. Hence, understanding ‘where’ the NR4/NR7 occurs is very vital. So, let’s consider a few examples to support this statement.

Below is the chart of USD/CAD on the Daily timeframe. We can clearly see that the market is moving in a channel state. Now, to trade this strategy, we blend it with the working of a channel.

Trading a channel is pretty straightforward. When the price is at the bottom of the channel, we look for buying opportunities, and when it is at the top of the channel, we look for short-selling opportunities. With this mind, we try spotting the NR4/NR7 days in these regions.

Below is the magnified image of the chart where we’re going to analyze the market. Initially, the market came down rolling until the bottom of the channel and began to hold down there. And the candle which held at the bottom turned out to be the NR7 day as it has the smallest range compared to the previous six days. This is an indication that the market (sellers) is slowing down. Later, the market blasts up north and breaks the high of the NR7 day. Therefore, now we can prepare to go long.

And as we can see, the trade performs exceptionally well. This is because the location was in favor of the NR7 day.

Continuing with the same chart, the market which was at the bottom of the channel now moves up to the top of the channel. During this up move, the market loses its momentum every step of the way and ends up giving us the NR4 day at the top of the Channel. Hence, once the price breaks below the low of the NR4 candle, we can go for the short sell. And as a result, the market does break through the NR4 day and heads down south.

Bottom line

Trading in the markets is not an easy task. There is no indicator, pattern, or strategy that can consistently work standalone. There are several other considerations that should be made before getting into a trade. For example, in the above trades, we saw how we combined the NR4/NR7 with the concept of channels and made a profit from them. Also, for any strategy, you trade, make sure that there is logical reasoning behind taking the trade. We hope you find this strategy informative. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments below.


By Reddy Shyam Shankar

I am a professional Price Action retail trader and Speculator with expertise in Risk Management, Trade Management, and Hedging.

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