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What are Harmonic Patterns?

Harmonic Patterns, also known as Fibonacci Patterns, are essential tools for traders seeking to predict price movements in the forex market. These patterns, formed by Fibonacci retracements and extensions, help traders identify potential reversal points and enhance their trading strategies. In this article, we’ll delve into the various types of Fibonacci Patterns, how to recognise them, and their practical applications in trading. Understanding these patterns can significantly improve your risk/reward ratio and overall trading performance.


what are harmonic patterns

What Are Fibonacci Patterns?

Fibonacci Patterns are chart formations based on Fibonacci retracement and extension levels that create distinct shapes. These patterns suggest that price moves in a specific direction after their formation. Each pattern is typically labeled from starting point X to completion point D, which serves as the entry signal. These points represent retracements of previous moves or extensions of retracements.


The Harmonic Gartley Pattern

The Harmonic Gartley Pattern

The Gartley Pattern is one of the most well-known harmonic patterns. It is characterised by the following ratios:

  • XA: Any directional move

  • AB: 38.2% retracement of XA

  • BC: Retracement of AB between 38.2% to 88.6%

  • CD: Extension from BC to a range of 1.13% to 1.68%, or a 78.6% retracement from XA


This pattern indicates a complex correction where the trend remains valid, presenting an opportunity to enter at a lower price. The Gartley Pattern is valued for its excellent risk/reward ratio, with stop losses typically placed just below X and take profit levels starting at A.


 

The Harmonic Butterfly Pattern

The Harmonic Butterfly Pattern

The Butterfly Pattern differs from the Gartley Pattern in that it signals a reversal even when point D extends beyond point X. Key ratios include:

  • XA: Any directional move

  • AB: 78.6% retracement of XA

  • BC: Retracement of AB between 38.2% to 88.6%

  • CD: Extension from BC to a range of 1.618% to 2.24%, or a 1.27% extension of XA


This pattern typically breaks an accumulation or distribution phase in the market, signalling a strong reversal.


 

The Harmonic Crab Pattern

The Harmonic Crab Pattern

The Crab Pattern is known for its deep extensions and high reward potential. Its structure is as follows:

  • XA: Any directional move

  • AB: 38.2% to 61.8% retracement of XA

  • BC: Retracement of AB between 38.2% to 88.6%

  • CD: Extension from BC to a range of 2.618% to 3.618%


This pattern often results in a sharp price reversal, making it a powerful tool for traders.


 

The Harmonic Bat Pattern

The Harmonic Bat Pattern

The Bat Pattern is another popular harmonic pattern, characterised by:

  • XA: Any impulse or trend move

  • AB: 38.2% to 50% retracement of XA

  • BC: Retracement of AB between 38.2% to 88.6%

  • CD: Extension of BC to a range of 161.8% to 216.8%, or 88.6% of XA


The Bat Pattern offers high reward potential with relatively small risk.


 

The Harmonic Cypher Pattern

The Harmonic Cypher Pattern

The Cypher Pattern is unique and less common, with the following structure:

  • XA: Any directional move

  • AB: 38.2% to 61.8% retracement of XA

  • BC: Extension of AB between 1.272% to 1.414%

  • CD: Extension of AB to a range of 1.272% to 200%, or a 78.6% retracement of XA


This pattern helps identify strong reversal points in the market.


 

The Harmonic Shark Pattern

The Harmonic Shark Pattern

The Shark Pattern starts with point O and completes at point C, making it unique among harmonic patterns:

  • OX: Any directional move

  • XA: Any retracement of OX

  • AB: Extension of AB between 1.13% to 1.618%

  • BC: Extension of AB to a range of 1.618% to 2.24%


This pattern is confirmed and measured from point C, indicating a potential reversal.



Why Use Harmonic Patterns?

Harmonic patterns offer a favourable risk/reward ratio, with entries invalidated if the price moves significantly beyond the Price Reversal Zone (PRZ). They also provide asymmetric upside potential, especially if they signal the start of a new trend. However, these patterns can be challenging to spot and measure manually. Fortunately, there are tools and indicators, such as Auto chartist and the XABC tool on TradingView, that can help identify these patterns automatically.


Challenges and Consensus

While harmonic patterns are highly effective, they are not magical solutions. Their success relies on consensus among traders who see and act on the same levels. This collective action creates the demand needed to drive prices. Therefore, using widely recognised patterns like Fibonacci retracements and extensions can enhance your trading strategy.


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In Summary

Harmonic patterns start with an initial trend move, with subsequent moves forming the pattern. They consist of Potential Reversal Zones (PRZ), labeled as point D. These patterns offer excellent risk/reward ratios, making them attractive to traders. However, their success depends on broad recognition and consensus among market participants.

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