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What Are Gaps?
What Are Gaps?

What Are Gaps?

A gap is a space on a chart where a security's rate both increases or decreases from the preceding day's ending with no trading activity happening between these time intervals. As a consequence, the asset's chart reveals a gap in the standard price pattern. The ambitious trader can understand and use these gaps for profit.

Generally, candlesticks on a Forex chart open at the same level where the last candle was closed after the end of the trading session. After that, a new candle is opened immediately.

That is what happens in typical situations. Despite that, when a gap performs on the chart, you see a possible divergence between the starting and the ending price of the two connecting candles.

A gap is a space of a chart where a security's rate changes with no trading activity happening in between.

What Is Gapping

Trading tool

Gapping is when a stock, or different trading tool, opens over or under the preceding day’s end, with no trading action in between.

For example, the share price picked at the level of $338.00 on Wednesday and opened at $356.40 on Thursday, and no trading happens in between this space. This unfilled interval looks like a gap on the chart.

What Causes Gaps in The Market?

Gapping in the market happens due to many factors. Here are the most common of them:

Political Events

USD currency index

Some of these events are essential. For example, the US dollar has decreased slightly after trading steady among other global currencies, presenting a small gap, after revealing the news about Trump’s impeachment. On 19 December 2019, the US dollar index DXY was trading at the level of 97.33.

Economical Events

Significant economic moves can change not only a single position on the Forex market. Some of them can affect the global economic landscape, such as Black Wednesday. In 1992, between September and December, the GBP/USD declined by about 25%, down to the level of 1.5057. Furthermore, there was no trading activity in that period.

Natural Disasters

The result of a natural disaster may cause a catastrophe for a country. Earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes hurt country's residents, confidence, and infrastructure. Besides, such disasters will also harm a nation's official currency.

For example, Harvey Hurricane had led to instability at the absolute worst time for the markets. A previously weak dollar dropped to a one-and-half-year low against a currency basket.

The USD index was falling at 92.501 value by 28th August 2017 and had earlier dropped to 92.372. It was the lowest position since early May 2016.

In brief, gaps are mostly built by significant changes, making it all the more valuable for traders to remain refreshed by the economic program, as well as other geopolitical matters.

Gap Types

Hand holds a pen

There are four types of gaps, excluding the gap that happens because of a stock reinvestment. Each type has its unique implications, so it is crucial to be able to select between them.

Common Gaps

Сlosing the gap on the chart

They can develop from a stock reinvestment when the trading volume is low. These gaps are common and typically get filled almost immediately. "Getting filled" means that the price action, in the last few days or weeks, usually returns at the least value to the previous day before the gap. It is also known as closing the gap.

A common gap appears typically in a range-bound or congestion zone, where it strengthens the apparent absence of interest in the stock at that time. It is frequently increased more by a low trading volume.

Being conscious of these types of gaps is useful, but it's questionable that they will provide trading opportunities.

Breakaway Gaps

Breakaway gaps on the chart

It’s a new trend where the asset ‘gaps away’ from the price pattern. If a breakaway gap is followed by higher trading volume, it may be deserved to get a position long for a breakaway gap up, and short for a breakaway gap down, on the candlestick next to the gap.

Runaway Gaps

Elevated buying interest on the chart

Runaway gaps may be termed as gaps caused by a raised interest in the stock. Runaway gaps usually describe traders who did not get in through the first move of the uptrend and, while waiting for a temporary reversal in price, decided that it wouldn’t happen.

Elevated buying interest appears suddenly, and the price gaps over the past day's ending. This kind of runaway gap describes a state of traders’ panic. Also, a good uptrend can have runaway gaps caused by significant news and events that produce new interest in the stock.

Exhaustion Gaps

Exhaustion Gaps on the chart

In contrast to runaway gaps, there are occasions when the price does a final gap in the trend course, but then shifts. It is frequently caused by a crowd mentality of traders racing to the trend and pushing the stock into the overbought area.

Accordingly, skilled traders will be waiting for the withdrawal and get the opposite position to the previous direction.

All of these kinds of gaps can be full or partial gaps. Common gaps are usually partial gaps, as the rate doesn't move substantially. Though, in some cases, the cost may not change much; nevertheless, in the end, it will do a full gap. Breakaway, runaway, and exhaustion gaps conduce to become full gaps.

Gaps are classified as breakaway, exhaustion, common, or continuation. Classification is based on when they happen in a price pattern and the meaning of the signals.

Gap Trading Basics

After you’ve got acquainted with the various types of gaps, we will go on by telling you about a few strategies for trading gaps in Forex.

First, when trading gaps, it is essential to learn that price may not start rapidly moving in the expected place. In many cases, a healing move will arrive, filling part, or the entire gap space. Otherwise, you may even feel a false signal made by the gap. Let's review some different Forex gap trading methods, which will help you in making the decision.

Gap Trading Strategies

Some traders use gaps for analytics. For example, if a gap happens almost at the start of a trend, then it is a breakaway gap or a runaway gap. It lets the trader understand the price possible so he/she can run. Other traders use gaps for trading objectives. They may open positions after a gap happens. Let's take a look at some of the most effective strategies.

Buying the Gap

British Pound/Japanese Yen - The chart

Traders usually notice this strategy as the "gap and go". A position could be taken at the moment the stock gaps with a stop order traditionally placed low under the gap bar. The gap should happen above a critical resistance and trade on heavy volume to enhance the possibilities of a successful trade. And conversely, traders could remain for prices to fill the gap and set a limit order to buy the stock almost before the preceding day's ending.

Selling the Gap

Strategy of selling the gap

This strategy is related to the previous one. In this case, the trader opens a short position following a gap down.

Fading the Gap

Fading the Gap on the chart

Contrarians may apply a fading strategy to use gapping. Traders can get a trade in a different area of the gap, under the assumption that most gaps tend to be filled over time. A stop order is placed over the gap bar's high, developing a gap up, with a profit mark set near the preceding day's ending. For a gap down, the trader purchases put a stop loss under the gap bar's low and set a profit target near the previous day's close.

Gaps as An Investing Signal

Gaps (on the chart) as an investing signal

Breakaway and runaway gaps can both indicate that there is more trend left to hold.

Consequently, following one of these gaps, a long-term investor may open a position in the area of the gap (usually watching for gaps above).

They may hold onto the trade until an exhaustion gap happens or till a trailing stop is gone, giving them a reason to quit.

There are three main trading strategies: Buying the Gap, Selling the Gap, and Fading the Gap.

How to Play the Gap in The Forex Market

Let's review all steps, using the example of common or weekend gaps. Forex fans trade the weekend gap by requiring Sunday's opening price to be a replacement for Friday's closing price. Here is one of the Forex gap trading strategies:

  1. Open a chart with the common gap
  2. Find a chart pattern
  3. It will be nice if there is a nearby gap midnight
  4. Following the price gaps, place the first candle above or below the base of the gap
  5. Enter quickly (aggressive entry) or enter at the recess of the candle high (conservative entry)
  6. Stops are set under or over the candle high/low
  7. The target is the gap close or three pips above/below it

Gap trading is complicated, but if you understand which gaps are tradable and which are not, it should be more manageable. Try to find different gaps on your chart and examine how the price works after the creation of a gap. Finally, yet importantly, always keep the risks under control!

Tips and Tricks for Gap Trading

Magnifying glass on the map

So, everyone's favorite part is tips and tricks. Here are the essential tips you need to learn when trading gaps:

  • Be assured to watch the volume. High volume should be near the breakaway gaps, while low volume should happen in exhaustion gaps.
  • In some cases, you will see that a gap happens within the structure of a classical chart pattern. When this occurs, it is essential to use a multiple period method and zoom into the lower timeframe. You will get a more visible picture of the chart pattern and, therefore, accurately control the trade.
  • As price is running in your favor, focus on price interactions with the pivot points, particularly on the first interactions of the Pivot Point (PP), S1, and R1 Levels.
  • If the price breaches a pivot point in the way of your trade, next, you should hold the trade, in expectation of a continuation of the pivot, until the next critical swing level or pivot level is examined. Still, if the price jumps sharply from a pivot point zone, you need to quit your trade and to get your open trade profits.
  • When you start your trading day as a large gap trader, you will need to look for essential rates in the premarket price action to trade against. It will assist you in preparing for the trade and give you an advantage when things become real and working.
  • For those traders who play large gaps, you will usually get useful information on daily charts. While browsing daily charts, look for spaces of more extended support and resistance. It will assist you in identifying large gaps where you can take the upper hand.

It's also essential when you trade with a small size. Large gappers can be hugely active. It means you can waste a lot of money immediately if you aren't armed.


General trading chartNow, when you understand what large gap trading is and how you can take the upper hand, you should start practice trading. Discovering how to trade large gaps properly before you work with real money will encourage you to become a more skilled trader without risking your money.

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What does a gap in the market mean?

A gap is a term used in technical analysis, which signifies a space on the chart where no trading took place. It occurs when a security’s price moves sharplyF up or down.

What is a gap up and gap down in the stock market?

Gap up means that the highest price of one trading day was lower than the lowest price of the following day. Gap down means that the lowest price was higher than the highest price the following day.

How do you know the stock will gap up?

Some indicators include overnight news (political, economic, environmental) and companies suddenly releasing their earnings statements. However, there are no perfect indicators to predict the gap up opening.

What is a gap and go strategy?

Sometimes when security has gained momentum during the trading day, it continues the move in the same direction. If traders identify a gap up, they can go long; if the stock has gapped lower, they can go short.

What does gapped mean in the stock market?

It means the price movement backtracks to a similar value like it was the last day before the gap. It is also called “getting filled” and “closing the gap”.

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