A Guide to Trading Ascending and Descending Triangles


Belonging to classic technical analysis patterns, ascending and descending triangles are great patterns to use on the currency market. They have many advantages, such as being visible and easy to spot and interpret.

What is a Triangle in Forex?

Before presenting a short guide to trading such triangles, it is essential to understand what a triangle is. Shortly, it is a consolidation, as the currency market spends a lot of time in consolidation.

In fact, if there is one pattern to expect when the markets are likely to consolidate, expect a triangle to form. Triangles, therefore, are the favorite way for the currency market to consume time.

Many types of triangles exist. From contracting to expanding and horizontal to running variations, technical analysis is full of them, each having a different interpretation. For ascending or descending triangles, we talk about contracting triangles that form against horizontal support or resistance.

How to Trade Ascending and Descending Triangles

Ascending and descending triangles are continuation patterns. It means that during a bullish trend, the market pauses for a while, looking for direction.

The first sign that a continuation triangle forms is that the price action is capped at a horizontal level that acts as a resistance. Furthermore, the market forms a series of higher lows until the horizontal base is literally broken.

In the case of a descending triangle, the market does precisely the opposite.

A Guide to Trading Ascending and Descending Triangles

The EURUSD daily chart from above formed a descending triangle on its move lower to almost hitting the parity level. It took some time for the market to consolidate around a horizontal base, but eventually, it broke lower.

The moment the horizontal base is broken, traders go short (in the case of a descending triangle) or long (in the case of an ascending triangle), as the trend resumes. During a triangle of this type, the longest leg of the triangle gives the measured move, but a better way to trade it is to trail the stop as the trend resumes, to make the most of the continuation pattern.

A Guide to Trading Ascending and Descending Triangles

As the image above shows, the descending triangle acted as a continuation pattern, with the trigger being the moment when the price broke the horizontal support. It is mandatory that a bearish trend exists, highlighting the continuation pattern and providing the direction after the triangle breaks.

Another way to make the most of such triangles is to label them using the Elliott Wave Theory rules. According to Elliott, a triangle has five segments labeled with letters and the b-d trendline’s break marks the end of the triangular consolidation. Once broken, the trend resumes.

A Guide to Trading Ascending and Descending Triangles

A great place to enter the market is to wait for the price to retest the b-d trendline, as it is typically rejected. The stop-loss must be at the end of the e-wave, and traders using proper risk-reward ratios multiply the risk two or three times to set the appropriate reward.


Ascending and descending triangles form often. Usually, the market seems to form a triple top or bottom, suggesting a reversal pattern. But if the price action keeps the series of higher lows (in an ascending triangle) or lower highs (in a descending triangle), the triple top or bottom will not hold, and the reversal pattern will be invalidated.

This article represents the opinion of the Companies operating under the FXOpen brand only. It is not to be construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation with respect to products and services provided by the Companies operating under the FXOpen brand, nor is it to be considered financial advice.

Latest from Trading Strategies

What Is Position Trading? Definition and Examples What Is Swing Trading? How to Trade in Ranges: Range Trading Strategies Forex Money Management Strategies How to Trade Breakouts

Latest articles


Can Last Week's Gold Price Rally Be Replicated?

Gold holds a particularly exceptional status among precious metals. Whilst it does have some use in the manufacturing of consumer durables and electronic products ranging from alloy compounds in wedding rings to terminals for connecting electrical cables in audio equipment,

Forex Analysis

USD/JPY Analysis: The Market is Indecisive Near Its Peak Since May 1

As the USD/JPY chart shows today:

→ The price is in an upward trend (indicated by the blue channel) that has been relevant since the beginning of 2024.

→ On Thursday, May 23, the exchange rate nearly reached 157.2 yen

Analytical NVIDIA Stock Forecast for 2024, 2025 – 2030, and Beyond
Trader’s Tools

Analytical NVIDIA Stock Forecast for 2024, 2025 – 2030, and Beyond

NVIDIA's stock has seen remarkable growth, driven by advancements in AI, data centres, and emerging technologies. This article provides a comprehensive analysis of NVIDIA’s stock outlook for 2024, 2025, and the next decade. Join us as we explore detailed

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 60% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.