Does Technical Analysis work?

Joining the debate between technical and fundamental analysis in financial markets, Lets take a look

By Nadia Elbilassy | @Nadia Elbilassy | 26 October 2023

Technical analysis
  • Technical analysis analyzes historical price and volume data to forecast future price movements based on the belief that all information is reflected in the price.

  • It focuses on trends, support and resistance levels, chart patterns, indicators, and other tools to predict market direction.

  • Fundamental analysis complements technical analysis by assessing the long-term value and risks of assets based on economic and financial data, and many traders use both methods for a more comprehensive perspective.

What is Technical and how is it used?

Technical analysis is a method of evaluating financial markets, including stocks, commodities, and forex, by analyzing historical price and volume data to forecast future price movements. This approach is rooted in the belief that historical price and volume data contain valuable information that can be harnessed to make informed trading decisions.

Occasionally resorting to technical analysis only opens a topic of debate, with fundamental analysis playing a vital role in long term trading and as it offers a complementary perspective and other several key advantages to the table.

Price Discounts Everything

Technical analysis operates on the premise that all information, including past and present events, is already reflected in the price of an asset. This means that everything from economic data and news to investor sentiment is already factored into the market price.

Price Moves in Trends

One of the fundamental tenets of technical analysis is the idea that prices move in trends. A trend can be upward (bullish), downward (bearish), or sideways (range-bound). Traders use various tools to identify and follow these trends.

Technical analysts believe that historical price patterns and trends often repeat themselves. By identifying these patterns, traders aim to predict future price movements.

Support and Resistance

Support levels are price levels where an asset tends to find buying interest, preventing it from falling further. Resistance levels are where selling interest typically appears, preventing the asset from rising. These levels are crucial for identifying potential entry and exit points.

Chart Patterns

Technical analysts use chart patterns to identify potential trend reversals or continuations. Common chart patterns include head and shoulders, double tops, double bottoms, triangles, and flags. These patterns are formed by the price movement over time and are believed to provide insights into future price direction.

Indicators and Oscillators

Technical analysts use a variety of indicators and oscillators to analyze price and volume data. These include moving averages, Relative Strength Index (RSI), Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD), and many more. These tools help identify overbought and oversold conditions, as well as momentum and trend strength.

Volume Analysis

Volume is the number of shares or contracts traded in a given time period. Changes in volume can provide insights into the strength or weakness of a price movement. For example, a price increase accompanied by high volume is often seen as a more reliable signal of a trend than one with low volume.


Technical analysis can be applied to different timeframes, from very short-term (intraday) to longer-term (weekly or monthly charts). Traders choose timeframes based on their trading style and objectives.

Candlestick Patterns

Candlestick charts display price movements with candles that have different shapes and colours. Traders use candlestick patterns to make predictions about market direction. Common patterns include doji, hammer, and engulfing patterns.

Elliott Wave Theory

Some technical analysts use Elliott Wave Theory to identify patterns in market price movements. This theory suggests that markets move in waves, consisting of impulsive and corrective phases.

Fibonacci Retracement

The Fibonacci retracement levels are used to identify potential support and resistance levels based on a sequence of numbers and ratios derived from the Fibonacci sequence. Traders use these levels to find potential reversal or continuation points.

In summary, the debate between technical analysis and fundamental analysis often comes down to the specific goals and time horizons of traders and investors. While technical analysis can be effective for short-term traders and is rooted in the idea that price data encapsulates all available information, fundamental analysis is essential for those seeking to make informed decisions about the long-term value and potential risks of assets. Many successful market participants use both approaches in conjunction to gain a more comprehensive view of the markets and to balance their trading and investment strategies.